What a difference a year makes for Tennessee's secondary going up against Pharoh Cooper. Jim Brown USA TODAY Sports

Last season Pharoh Cooper had arguably his best performance as a collegiate receiver, as South Carolina's most gifted player racked up 11 receptions for 233 yards and two touchdowns against Tennessee.

The effort by the Vols' secondary left much to be desired, as the unit was consistenly plagued by one blown coverage after another against the Gamecocks - and Cooper in particular. This year was a completely different story, as junior cornerback Cam Sutton held Cooper to four catches for 47 yards and a touchdown.

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UT's defensive coordinator John Jancek spoke Tuesday on the work Sutton put in leading up to the South Carolina game in order to slow the future NFL receiver.

"He had a great week of preparation, he was really locked in and focused for this game," Jancek said. "He knew he had Cooper and we put the challenge out there to him and I'm proud of the way he performed."

Jancek was then asked if the performance left Sutton with any additional confidence.

"I would think he's got some confidence, he's certainly got a right to feel better about himself. Just as long as he keeps working hard and putting the time in and preparing, that's all I'm concerned with."

Tennessee's star corner may not face another player of Cooper's skill all season but if the team matches up against a skilled difference maker in its bowl game, they should have all the faith in the world that Sutton will be comfortable locking him down.

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