After Kurt Roper’s rocky tenure as South Carolina’s offensive coordinator ended in early December, there was some speculation he could end up on the staff of an old friend.
It turned out to be true, but not the friend most expected.
Roper is reportedly close to being hired as Colorado’s quarterback coach according to the Boulder Daily Camera and foxsports.com’s Bruce Feldman. He’d joins the staff of Mike MacIntyre, who he coached with at Ole Miss (1999-2002) and Duke (2008-09), both times with David Cutcliffe’s staffs.
Roper would replace Brian Lindgren, who coached quarterbacks at CU. According to the report, Roper will not be OC, unlike Lindgren.
The Buffaloes finished 5-7 in 2017 a year after a breakthrough 10-win campaign. He should inherit junior passer Steven Montez.
There had been speculation Roper could land with fellow Cutcliffe disciple Matt Luke at Ole Miss or perhaps back with Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils.
Roper had successful stints at Ole Miss (with Eli Manning) and Duke, but struggled in one year at Florida with Will Muschamp and the past two in South Carolina.
The Gamecocks finished 2016 last in the SEC in scoring (20.8 ppg) and 13th in total offense (347.5 ypg). Things were supposed to be better this season, though, with a more experienced Jake Bentley at quarterback and offensive personnel like Deebo Samuel, Hayden Hurst and Bryan Edwards in their second year in Roper’s system.
There was improvement, but it was slight. South Carolina currently is 12th in the SEC in scoring (24.1 ppg) and total offense (340.2), and the Gamecocks finished the regular season with an 8-4 record in spite of their offensive numbers, rather than because of them, which had been the preseason expectation.
South Carolina entered the season with offensive fanfare thanks to the experience of sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley and skill position players such as wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards, tight end Hayden Hurst and running backs Rico Dowdle.
The season began well behind a torrid start from Samuel, who had 474 all-purpose yards and six touchdowns before being lost for the season due to a broken leg suffered in the third quarter of the third game of the year. The Gamecocks averaged 33 points in the two games Samuel started and completed but scored more than 30 in just two more SEC games, including one it which they scored three defensive touchdowns.
Dowdle would later suffer a season-ending injury and three starting offensive linemen also missed significant time with injury, and South Carolina never managed to put together any offensive rhythm in the final 10 games of the year. Throughout the season, Muschamp defended Roper when the subject arose.