Max Arnold recovered a Brent Brewer-forced fumble on the first play of the next series and picked up 23 yards before being brought down.
Brewer added a diving interception, the first of his career, on the next series to add the final takeaway of a busy opening stanza for the Vol defense.
Brian Randolph added Tennessee's fourth interception of the day (first of his career) and the sixth WKU turnover, picking off a second-quarter WKU pass and returning it 18 yards.
Randolph tacked on his second pick of the day (20-yard return), the Vols' fifth INT of the game and UT's seventh takeaway of the afternoon early in the fourth quarter.
The last time a Vol had two interceptions in a contest came on Sept. 22, 2012, when Byron Moore had a pair vs. Akron.
PICK-SIXES ARE WILD
Junior Justin Coleman picked off WKU's Brandon Doughty with 4:24 remaining in the first quarter and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown to put the Vols on top, 7-3.
Not only was it Coleman's first pick-six, it was his first career interception.
The last time a Vol returned an INT for a touchdown was on Sept. 29, 2012, when Byron Moore returned one 35 yards to paydirt at Georgia.
On the very next series, true freshman Cameron Sutton got into the act, taking an errant Doughty toss back 36 yards for a Tennessee touchdown with 3:27 to go in the first stanza.
Those were the first TD and INT of Sutton's young career.
The last true freshman to record a pick-six was Eric Berry vs. Florida on Sept. 15, 2007.
The last time Tennessee had two pick-sixes in one game came in 2010 vs. Ole Miss, when Eric Gordon took one back 46 yards and Prentiss Waggner returned another 10 yards.
RUSHING INTO THE CHECKERBOARD
Tennessee scored four rushing touchdowns vs. Western Kentucky.
Senior running back Rajion Neal punched the ball into the end zone from one yard out to cap a 24-point UT first quarter scoring blitz and added another one-yarder on UT's opening drive of the second half and a seven-yard rush later in the third frame.
The last Vol to rush for three TDs in a game was Montario Hardesty, who accomplished that feat vs. Kentucky on Nov. 28, 2009.
The three trips to the end zone improved Neal's totals to four rushing scores this season, 11 rushing TDs for his career and 16 TDs overall.
It was the third multi-touchdown game of Neal's career, following two-TD efforts vs. his home-state schools Georgia State and Georgia in 2012.
Junior running back Marlin Lane opened the second quarter with an eight-yard jaunt to paydirt, his third of 2012.
Lane now has seven rushing TDs and nine overall for his career.
SPOT THEM THREE, THEN POUR ON THE STEAM
The 24 first-quarter points scored by Tennessee (over a span of 3:53) were the most in a quarter since the Vols produced 27 vs. Memphis in 2010.
That total was the highest in the first quarter since UT scored 35 at Arkansas in 2000.
RACKING UP TACKLES AND DEFLECTIONS
Sophomore free safety LaDarrell McNeil tied his career high with 10 tackles vs. Western Kentucky, marking the third time in his UT tenure he hit double figures in stops.
McNeil had five solos, five assists, a tackle for a loss (-6) and one pass break-up vs. WKU.
Senior linebacker Dontavis Sapp finished the day with a career-best eight tackles and tallied two tackles for losses (-4), a fumble recovery and a fumble forced.
After registering only two stops last week vs. Austin Peay, junior linebacker A.J. Johnson was in on eight tackles vs. Western Kentucky.
Johnson registered three solos and five assists to move up to ninth on UT's career assisted tackles list with 124, passing Lemont Holt Jeffers (I20, 1978-81) and Ronnie McCartney (121, 1973-75).
In addition to intercepting five passes and returning those thefts 97 yards, the Vols broke up six other tosses by the Hilltoppers.
Tennessee had two sacks against WKU on Saturday, and Vols who hail from Gainesville, Fla., recorded those hits.
Junior defensive lineman Jordan Williams recorded 1.5 sacks for eight yards in losses and finished with four total tackles.
Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Trevarris Saulsberry registered a half sack for a two-yard loss and tallied three stops.
PALARDY HANDLING ALL OF THE CHORES
For the second game in a row, senior Michael Palardy's first kickoff resulted in a touchback for the opposing team. He added others in the second (1) and third (1) quarters to improve his total to four this season.
Palardy drilled a 49-yard first-quarter punt that UT downed at the WKU two. It marked his eighth career punt inside the 10 and 20th inside the 20.
Palardy boomed a 54-yard second-quarter punt.
Palardy was seven-of-seven on PAT attempts vs. WKU and improved to 13-13 on the season and 88-93 for his career.
Palardy connected from 23 yards out on a first-quarter field goal to improve to 2-2 on the season and 25-35 for his career.
WKU blocked a Palardy punt with 34 second remaining in the first half, the first blocked Vols punt since the 2012 game at Georgia.
KEEPING IT CLEAN IN THE RETURN GAME
Junior Vincent Dallas had three kickoff returns for 90 yards vs. the Hilltoppers in his debut with that chore.
Dallas averaged 30 yards per runback.
Dallas had a long of 36 yards to open the second half.
Filling in for the injured classmate Devrin Young on punt returns, Jacob Carter had a clean day, registering two returns for 20 yards with a long of 11.
PENALTY-FREE STREAK COMES TO AN END
Tennessee improved its streak of penalty-free football to nearly six quarters in 2013 before getting charged with a personal foul by Corey Miller with 34 seconds remaining in the first half vs. Western Kentucky.
The Vols went 94 minutes, 56 seconds without a penalty during that spree, dating back to 5:30 remaining in the fourth period vs. Kentucky in 2012.
UT finished the game with two penalties for 17 yards.
DEFENSE SURRENDERS FIRST POINTS OF JONES ERA
When WKU's Garrett Schwettman knocked home a 37-yard field goal with 7:55 remaining in the first quarter, it marked the first points of the 2013 season surrendered by Tennessee.
The Vols' 67:05 stint of keeping the opposition off the board is the longest to start a season since 2010, when opponents were scoreless for the first 73:35 of that campaign.
That span in 2010 included a shutout vs. UT Martin and keeping Oregon off the scoreboard for 13:35.
Tennessee didn't allow its first touchdown of 2013 until 6:47 remained in the second quarter today, as Leon Allen burrowed in from one yard out.
ODDS AND ENDS
Junior tight end Brendan Downs had this second TD reception of the season and third of his career, snagging a one-yarder from Justin Worley in the fourth quarter.
True freshman Johnathon Johnson hauled in a career-long 37-yard reception from Justin Worley in the third period and finished with a team-leading 57 yards on two catches.
Another true freshman, Josh Smith, pulled down a career-high three receptions for 36 yards. That reception total was a team high today.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
A juggling first-quarter catch by Marquez North was reviewed. The officials confirmed the rookie receiver made the catch.
A fourth-quarter play, originally ruled a WKU fumble and recovered by Tennessee's Byron Moore, was overturned by review.