Wednesday, March 29, 2023
59.1 F

Tennessee C Cooper Mays on Georgia 2021: “Honestly, they’re probably the best defense I’ve ever played”

The battle for the SEC East will actually be competitive this year. Tennessee has ensured as much.

The Vols are set to travel to Athens to face Georgia in a matchup of No. 1 versus No. 2. The Bulldogs defeated Tennessee 41-17 last season, and went on to win the National Championship. 

Georgia’s defense in 2021 was one of the best ever, and remains the best defense that senior center Cooper Mays has ever faced. 

“They were loaded last year for sure,” Mays said. “…I mean, they’re all in the NFL right now. Probably picked in the first two or three rounds. There were a bunch of freaks. Honestly, they’re probably the best defense I’ve ever played.

“I thought I had a really good game, though. I played really solid. That game was probably one of my better games of the season last year, so it was nice.”

Even though Georgia lost some defensive talent from a year before, the Bulldogs still pose a unique challenge for Tennessee.

The Vol Report with Cooper Mays

“It’s Georgia. And it’s going to be a really physical front seven with a lot of athletes that can run sideline to sideline,” Mays said. “They’re going to be well disciplined and well coached so it’s a challenge for us, as it always will be with Georgia, I’m sure.”

Certain teams are renowned for traditionally having lockdown defenses in the SEC – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, etc. No matter the year, or opponent, Georgia fits the “mold” of always having a dominant defense. 

“They’re going to play their defense and say ‘We think we’ve got better players than you,’” Mays said. “And we’re going to show it. They’ve got great athletes that can play sideline to sideline and they’re fast and big and physical.”

Tennessee’s matchup with Georgia is surrounded by a lot of outside noise and hype. College Gameday will be in Athens on Saturday for the matchup between No. 1 and No. 2. 

It’s almost impossible to turn on the tv, or go on social media, without seeing something about Tennessee’s dominance thus far this season. 

Mays can’t deny that he sees the outside hype, but he doesn’t get tied up in all the noise. 

“I just don’t get tied into all that stuff,” Mays said. “I mean, I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m not on Twitter…I’m obviously on those things. But my timeline doesn’t really reflect Tennessee football 24/7. So I kind of try to just stay away from looking at things. I don’t even know what we’re ranked at this point. I didn’t know what we were ranked the whole year. I couldn’t tell you.”

For the record, it’s No. 2 in the nation.

- Advertisement -

Latest Podcast

- Advertisement -

More Podcasts