Four years ago, Lane Kiffin opened his short tenure as Tennessee head coach by waltzing into a 63-7 win over new FBS addition Western Kentucky. The talent gap between the two teams couldn't have been more obvious.
Fast forward to week two of the Butch Jones era.
The Hilltoppers are coming off a season-opening win over an SEC opponent, boast a coach who beat the Vols by 42 points two years ago and feature a running back who joined Barry Sanders in 2012 as the only two players in NCAA history to surpass 3,000 all-purpose yards in a season.
A lot can change in four years.
Western Kentucky head coach Bobby Petrino, who coached Arkansas at the time, led his Razorbacks to a dominating 49-7 win over the Vols in 2011 and finished in the nation's top five. One motorcycle accident and sex scandal later, he was out of a job and took the WKU position in December 2012.
Vols safety Byron Moore, who played against Petrino's squad two seasons ago, shed some light on the ways the offensive guru could attack a UT secondary that is already shuffling in a handful of youngsters.
"(Petrino's) offense, he does a lot within it, a lot of different route combinations," Moore said. "A lot of crossing routes, and attacking the corners and safeties at the same time."
Junior quarterback Justin Worley, who started that game in 2011 as a true freshman in place of an injured Tyler Bray, also reminisced and hoped for a different turnout Saturday.
"In Arkansas, that was a pretty rough night for the Vols," Worley said. "So hopefully we'll go out and have more success."
What the Vols can't critique from their last meeting with Petrino is Antonio Andrews. The Hilltoppers' star running back rushed for 1,684 yards with a productive 5.5 yards per carry last year, and started 2013 off with 20 carries for 99 yards and a score against Kentucky.
Another attention-grabber on Western Kentucky is linebacker Andrew Jackson, a preseason All-Sun Belt selection for the second straight year. He became an Internet sensation over the weekend after the senior delivered a crushing hit on Kentucky's Jonathan George.
However, the hype is warranted, according to Jones.
"Andrew (Jackson) is as good of a linebacker as I've seen in a long, long time," Jones said. "He can impact the football game. He can change the course of the football game, and they feed off his energy."
Another impact player on Western Kentucky's defense is free safety Jonathan Dowling. He racked up a team-high six interceptions en route to a first-team All-Sun Belt selection, and caught Jones' eye as a player who will be playing on Sundays.
"Jonathan Dowling, the free safety, is another NFL football player," Jones said.
"These (Western Kentucky) players understand what it is to compete in these venues. They have a great running back and their quarterback has really managed the offense. Last year they led their conference in total defense, and they're going to present a lot of challenges for us."
Although Western Kentucky's win over Kentucky last weekend turned the heads of some Volunteer fans, the players weren't caught off-guard.
"To be honest, I wasn't really surprised (that they beat Kentucky)," said Daniel Hood, senior defensive lineman. "We've been preparing for them all summer."