South Carolina fires assistant and play caller Roper

FILE - In this 2015, file photo, Kurt Roper is shown. Some victories mean more than others and to South Carolina offensive coordinator Kurt Roper beating Vanderbilt last week meant more than starting 1-0 _ it meant the Gamecocks got to see that all the work demanded from Will Muschamp's staff could lead to success. (AP Photo/File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) South Carolina has fired the assistant coach who called its offensive plays.

Coach Will Muschamp said in a statement Wednesday he decided after much deliberation to dismiss co-offensive coordinator Kurt Roper and go a different direction.

The Gamecocks other co-offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon, will call plays at the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl against Michigan. Muschamp says he will decide how to replace Roper permanently after that.

South Carolina was last in the Southeastern Conference with 347 yards of total offense a game in Muschamp and Roper’s first season in 2016.

They improved to 12th this season even though they gained 7 fewer yards a game.

Roper and Muschamp worked together in 2014 at Florida and were fired before that season ended.

More AP college football coverage: and