For the second consecutive week, Alabama opened the game with a defensive alignment of three linemen, three linebackers, and five backs. First team defensive tackle Dominic Lee did not start and, instead, Bama went with a fifth defensive back, cornerback Lionel Mitchell, with Simeon Castille at nickel back.
Alabama used two first-time starters on defense, Mitchell and middle linebacker Prince Hall.
The Tide returned to its normal alignment on offense, meaning one tight end, two running backs, and two wide receivers.
There were two Tide players who saw action for the first time in their UA careers. Sophomore receiver Nikita Stover and freshman defensive back Justin Woodall made their UA debuts. Stover played two snaps at receiver and hauled in a 36-yard catch on a third-and-18 from the Alabama 45-yard line to set up the winning field goal. Stover's clutch reception came on his first collegiate play. Woodall played four snaps, all on special teams.
Wide receiver D.J. Hall saw action for the first time this season and made a touchdown reception.
Senior offensive right tackle Kyle Tatum , whose streak of 24 consecutive starts (dating back to the 2003 Hawaii game) come to an end against Hawaii the previous week, did not participate in the Vanderbilt game for what Coach Mike Shula said was a violation of team rules.
Although Alabama officially had one offensive play when the Tide tried a run out of field goal formation, the official participation chart lists that as field goal personnel.
Here are those who played against Vanderbilt with starters listed first and the number of plays in parenthesis. If there are two numbers, the second is the number of plays on special teams.
Split End—Matt Caddell (26), D. J. Hall (55)
Left Tackle—Andre Smith (68-4)
Left Guard—Justin Britt (68)
Center—Antoine Caldwell (68)
Right Guard—B.J. Stabler (65), Mike Johnson (3-4)
Right Tackle—Chris Capps (68-4)
Quarterback—John Parker Wilson (68)
Fullback—LéRon McClain (43-10), Tim Castille (25)
Left Tackle—Jeremy Clark (30)
Right Tackle—Dominic Lee (19), J.P. Adams (10)
Right End—Keith Saunders (25), Zeke Knight (15-4), Bobby
Middle Linebacker—Prince Hall (33), Matt Collins (11-3)
Left Cornerback—Ramzee Robinson (49-2)
Right Cornerback—Simeon Castille (46-6), Lionel Mitchell (40-6), Eric Gray (2-12)
Strong Safety—Jeffrey Dukes (49)
Punter and Holder—P.J. Fitzgerald (3 punts, 3 field goals, 1 extra point)
Snapper—Luke Spaulding (3 punts, 3 field goals, 1 extra point)
Coverage and Returns—Roy Upchurch (8), Chris Rogers (6), Cory Reamer (12), Marquis Johnson (10), Ali Sharrief (8), Justin Woodall (4), Javier Arenas (3), Terry Grant (3), Bryan Kilpatrick (4), Forress Rayford (5), Baron Huber (3), Evan Cardwell (4), Charles Hoke (4)