"I think there's a reason for tempo in games that obviously causes defenses problems, but we'll never sacrifice tempo over execution. We want to play fast, but we want to play smart and take care of the football and those types of things."
Muschamp's next offensive coordinator had been considered the most important hire in his tenure, a choice that surely will impact whether the head coach sticks around beyond 2014.
If Florida doesn't show significant improvement in Muschamp's fourth year — he is 22-16 through three seasons — athletic director Jeremy Foley almost certainly will clean house.
Roper followed Cutcliffe to Duke in 2008 from Tennessee and helped rebuild the Blue Devils from one of the nation's worst power-conference programs to the champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division.
Roper was a finalist this year for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant coach. The offensive coordinator helped the 22nd-ranked Blue Devils (10-3) set a school record for wins.
Before joining Duke, Roper coached at three SEC schools — Tennessee (2006-07), Kentucky (2005) and Mississippi with Cutcliffe (1999-2004). He coached quarterbacks at Kentucky and Ole Miss, and running backs at Tennessee before arriving in Durham, N.C.
So he has SEC experience and knows what he's getting into in Gainesville.
"Obviously, the expectations are great," Roper said. "I understand that going in, and the challenge is to meet those expectations. We're at the University of Florida, which obviously has a great tradition and has met those expectations a lot in the past. I'm just looking forward to it."