South Carolina offensive coordinator Kurt Roper is not going anywhere.
That’s probably worth saying this week. Roper has become the biggest target for fan ire following a sputtering offensive performance in a 23-13 loss to Kentucky last week, but he is not in the crosshairs of his boss in any way.
Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp was asked this week if he is pleased with the team’s play-calling and quickly replied, “Yeah.”
“At the end of the day, we would like to execute a little better,” Muschamp said.
There’s no question the numbers are ugly. South Carolina is 13th in the SEC and 113th in the nation with 321 yards per game. And this is the year that the offense was supposed to be carrying a young defense.
“I think we had a hard time getting in a rhythm Saturday,” Muschamp said. “We got into a pretty good rhythm when Jake (Bentley) completed 16 straight. Would we like to have the ball back to Bryan Edwards for a touchdown? Absolutely. There is no question about that. That was a good play call. We would like to have the ball back to K.C. on their sideline on the second play of the game, or maybe the third or fourth play of the game. Certainly, we would like to have some of those back, but at the end of the day, we threw for over 300 yards and (Bentley) was 16-for-16 at one point in the game, which is outstanding. He completed close to 70 percent of his passes.”
So, Muschamp remains in Roper’s corner, which is the only person he needs in his corner, and there’s still time for this offense to reach its full potential (even if that potential is a little bit less than it was without Deebo Samuel in the lineup).
“We need to be more effective running the football,” Muschamp said. “That is going to help our passing game, it is going to help everything. It is going to help our defense, it's going to help everything.”
And it would help get some people off Roper’s back.