Tennessee football is expected to be, at least closer, to 100% along its offensive line Saturday when the Vols host UTSA at Neyland Stadium.
Tennessee coach Josh Heupel updated the status of both offensive tackle Gerald Mincey and center Cooper Mays on Thursday after neither played offensive snaps in the Vols’ SEC opening loss at Florida.
“Gerald has been with us all week long,” Heupel said. “He’ll play on Saturday.”
Mincey played on the field goal kick team but not on offense against the Gators just days after being cited for simple possession by UTPD. The second-year Florida transfer had split time with Jeremiah Crawford at right tackle in each of Tennessee’s first two games outperforming his counterpart according to PFF.
But while Crawford struggled badly against Florida, he played every offensive snap while Mincey stayed put on the sidelines.
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While Heupel stated Mincey will play against UTSA, it’s not quite as straight forward for Mays.
“Coop has been with us all week long too,” Heupel said. “He was last week. At the end of the day, he’s a bit of a game time decision. It’s kind of based on how he’s feeling at that point.”
Mays has yet to make his senior season debut after undergoing a “minor procedure” early in fall camp. The Preseason All-SEC selection practiced last week with Heupel saying he anticipated Mays playing at Florida but after the senior went through pregame warmups he wasn’t able to give it a go.
With Mays sidelined, Tennessee has played a number of players at center but most notable Ollie Lane who has slid from left guard to center in his absence.
Tennessee has had operational and tempo issues in its first three games this season and hopes Mays can smooth some of them out when he returns.
Kickoff at Neyland Stadium is at 4 p.m. ET Saturday afternoon. Dave Neal, Derek Mason and Taylor Davis are on the call for the SEC Network.