LEXINGTON, Ky. -- With unique phrases like "snap and clear," "indisputable role understanding" and "eye discipline" constantly infiltrating press conferences and interviews, Tennessee followers have needed a Butch Jones personalized dictionary to keep up with all the unusual sayings the first-year head coach has implemented during his inaugural season in Knoxville.
But during UT's recent four game losing streak — a stretch that saw the Vols struggle offensively while being outscored 145-46 — one of Jones' go-to sayings all but disappeared from his arsenal of words.
Used to describe explosive, high-yardage gains, the early-season favorite of Jones returned in full effect Saturday evening as UT ripped off six plays of 25 yards or more—three going for touchdowns— en route to a 27-14 win over Kentucky.
"That's something that's kind of been missing in our offense, that consistent style of big plays," Jones said. "We see what happens when we create big plays. It creates momentum and touchdowns obviously.
"I think we've been due. We've been due for a while."
The "splash play" resurrection began almost instantly as tailback Rajion Neal broke off a 60-yard ground score on just UT's second offensive snap of the game.
Two drives later, it was Jason Croom's 43-yard juggling touchdown catch that upped the big play counter to two.
"Rajion Neal getting us started, getting us some momentum ... and then the concentration that Jason Croom had on the long touchdown pass (was huge)," Jones said. "When you go on the road, we always talk about you're responsible for creating your own momentum."
Midway through the second quarter, the redshirt freshman wide receiver would add another long grab—a 31-yard reception with UT backed up against its own end zone—before exiting with a broken collarbone.
One "splash play" would soon set up another.
Just minutes later, quarterback Joshua Dobbs faked the handoff on the read-option and bolted around right tackle before gliding to the end zone nearly untouched for a 40-yard score.
The run was the longest by an UT signal caller since Alan Cockrell's 43-yard touchdown rush versus LSU in 1983.
Early in his Volunteer career, Corey Miller was reminded who owned the UT single-game sack record.
"Well I was told my freshman year as soon as I came in that it was Reggie White," Miller said, "but it's one of those things that I didn't think much of it."
That very well may change.
In his final performance as a Volunteer, the senior defensive end sacked Kentucky quarterback Maxwell Smith 4.5 times—four solo and one combined— en route to his first multi-sack game of his career.
Miller's effort was also good enough to overtake White's single-game record of four quarterback takedowns, set in 1983 against The Citadel.
"I didn't find out until I walked into the locker room," Miller said. "I'm speechless about it because you never think something like that is going to happen, especially in the last game of your career."
Fellow defensive lineman Daniel Hood wasn't quite as surprised.
"Corey Miller had a heck of a week of practice," Hood said. "He knew he was going to be able to come in and make some plays tonight against their offensive line, and he did it. It was just impressive to watch him."
Late in the fourth quarter, The Wellford, S.C., native capped off his record-setting day in fine fashion as the final sack of his career forced a fumble deep in Wildcat territory.
Miller, though, took little of the credit.
"That was A.J.'s (Johnson) play right there," Miller said. "We called a certain play where he comes down and picks the center, I just stepped to the left and wrapped, and (the ball) happened to come free."
The other guys
With Marquez North already injured and Croom going down early, Dobbs and the UT passing attack were forced to look elsewhere for consistent productivity and additional "splash plays."
Enter Devrin Young and Johnathon Johnson.
The two combined for 101 yards on six catches, with Young corralling a third quarter touchdown that pushed UT's lead to three scores.
"It give me confidence, and most importantly, it builds trust with the coaches," Young said. "Showing them that they can count on you, that just makes me feel good."
Johnson set up the Young score with a 26-yard reception on third down that put the Vols inside UK territory.