Bama opened the game with its "Big Load" offensive lineup, meaning regular fullback Tim Castille at halfback, back-up fullback Le'Ron McClain, and two tight ends, David Cavan and Clint Johnston. Tyrone Prothro was the lone wide receiver. This depth chart puts Tim Castille only at fullback, although he played both positions.
In addition to McClain and Prothro, first-time starters included Kyle Tatum at right tackle, Rudy Griffin at left defensive tackle, Todd Bates are left defensive end, Juke King at strongside linebacker, Juwan Garth at weakside linebacker, and Ramzee Robinson at left cornerback.
Starting at new positions were left guard Evan Mathis (from right tackle), middle linebacker Cornelius Wortham (from strongside in 2002), Charlie Peprah at strong safety (from left cornerback), and Roman Harper at safety (from strong safety).
Although Simeon Castille is listed as a back-up left cornerback, he was actually the nickel back, replacing either a lineman or linebacker in passing situations.
Brothers were a big part of the season-opener. Tim and Simeon Castille both scored touchdowns in the game. It may not be unique, but it's certainly unusual. And it may be that three brothers played in a game for the first time. The Britts had Wesley starting at offensive tackle, Taylor backing up at center, and freshman Justin substituting at defensive tackle.
Nine true freshmen were listed as playing. In addition to Simeon Castille and Justin Britt, they were wide receivers Keith Brown, D.J. Hall, Zeke Knight, and Marcel Stamps; tight end Trent Davidson; halfback Aaron Johns; and strong safety Marcus Carter.
There were some transfers playing for the first time, including Rudy Griffin who started at defensive tackle, Chris Turner who backed up at defensive end, Jeffrey Dukes, who played late at cornerback, quarterback Marc Guillon, and snapper Drew Lane.
Redshirt freshmen playing were wide receiver Matt Caddell, cornerback Eric Gray, linebacker Demarcus Waldrop, guard Justin Moon, tackle Chris Capps, defensive end Wallace Gilberry, linebacker Matt Collins, defensive end Keith Saunders, and kickoff specialist Jamie Christensen.
Here are those who played. Starters are listed first. The number in parenthesis is the number of plays. If there is a hypen and two numbers, the second number is the numbeer of plays on special teams.
Split End–Keith Brown (30), Matt Caddell (26), Zeke Knight (4-14)
Left Tackle–Wesley Britt (63-8), Chris Capps (3)
Left Guard–Evan Mathis (63-8), Mark Sanders (3)
Center–JB Closner (63), Taylor Britt (3)
Right Guard–Danny Martz (63-8), Justin Moon (3)
Right Tackle–Kyle Tatum (54-8), Von Ewing (12)
Tight End–David Cavan (30-8), Clint Johnston (39-14),Trent Davidson (5-3)
Quarterback–Brodie Croyle (63), Marc Guillon (3)
Fullback–Tim Castille (44), LéRon McClain (26-11), Josh Smith (5-13)
Flanker–Tyrone Prothro (37-3), D.J. Hall (32), Matt Miller (1-17)
Left Tackle–Rudy Griffin (19), Anthony Bryant (27-1)
Left End–Todd Bates (38-1), Wallace Gilberry (15), Chris Turner (9)
Strongside Linebacker–Juke King (14-11), DeMeco Ryans (21)
Middle Linebacker–Cornelius Wortham (22-6), Freddie Roach (33-7)
Weakside Linebacker–Juwan Garth (52), Terrence Jones (19-10), Demarcus Waldrop (10-15)
Right Cornerback–Anthony Madison (53-1), Jeffrey Dukes (6-1)
Left Cornerback–Ramzee Robinson (59-1), Simeon Castille (33-15)
Strong Safety–Charlie Peprah (52), Marcus Carter (7-1)
Safety–Roman Harper (56-7), Carlos Andrews (6-21)
Punter–Bo Freelend (6)
Placekicker–Brian Bostick (8, 2 FG, 6 PAT)
Kickoff–Jamie Christensen (8)
Holder–Alex Fox (8, 2 FG, 6 PAT)
Snapper–Drew Lane (14, 6 punt, 2 FG, 6 PAT)