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South Carolina fires assistant and play caller Roper

(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.

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Updated December 6, 2017

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