Bryce Brown lowered his shoulder, plowed over a tackler and bowled into the end zone standing up.
The Tennessee freshman running back took a scary hit, slowly gathered himself, jogged off the field - and came back to finish with 100 yards on the ground.
The top-rated recruit even delivered a vicious hit as a de facto defender after an interception, forcing a Western Kentucky fumble in the process.
If new coach Lane Kiffin is intent on making the Vols a more physical bunch, it certainly helps to have the marquee name in his first class appear so willing to give and take the punishment.
"Well, I just wanted to come in here and play with effort," Brown said after Saturday's easy 63-7 win at Neyland Stadium. "Never give up on a play, and I saw the ball pop up and immediately I was thinking, 'Get it knocked down.' But the guy had caught it already, so I just tried to knock it out of his hands.
"Was (the hit) that bad? I didn't even know, I was just in there trying to get the ball out."
It definitely came loose, and even though the Vols weren't able to recover it, the play was a clear indication the newcomers are capable of giving Kiffin what he wants.
Brown racked up 104 yards in his anticipated debut, including the bullish two-yard run that opened the scoring in the second quarter. Backfield mate David Oku added 42 more yards and a pair of short touchdown carries. Marsalis Teague and Nu'Keese Richardson combined for nine catches and a touchdown.
And though Brown had one hiccup with a run he cut short along the sideline, none of them seemed to shy away from contact.
"Bryce had a great hit on the tipped-ball interception that we weren't able to get back but he forced a fumble," Kiffin said. "He's an explosive player, and it was good to see him.
"Marsalis was extremely impressive, especially for him to start and all the pressure that comes with that. It's easier to be Bryce, he got to come in after a couple carries after (Montario) Hardesty had it going. I was most proud of Marsalis out of all those guys, but Bryce played well."
So did just about everybody else against the overmatched Hilltoppers, but given all the attention the true freshmen have received and the pressure that's on them to produce right away, UT got exactly what it needed from the opener.
The first Vol Walk is out of the way. The Vols have run through the 'T' and played in front of nearly 100,000 fans, and more important, they know what to expect from the week of practice leading up to Saturday.
And as limited as that experience might be, at least UT has more than it did a week ago with a better opponent coming to Neyland Stadium in UCLA (TV: ESPN, 4 p.m.).
"This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone," Brown said. "When Coach Kiffin came in here he told everybody he would give them a chance to play, and he gave all of us (freshmen) an opportunity to play, all of us a chance in fall camp to show what we can do.
"Everybody who showed up and showed that, he gave them a chance and put us in the game. It just shows how honest this staff is and what they truly believe in."
Right now it's physical play and youth.
So far they have gone together just fine.