A Look At Lineup In Tide Opener

The 2009 Alabama football team was a different squad from the 2010 edition of the Crimson Tide that won the national championship. The new Bama did get off to a winning start Saturday night in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Here is a look at some of the personnel changes.

Alabama returned most starters on offense and looked very efficient. The Crimson Tide has mostly new starters on defense and special teams.

Strong safety Mark Barron was the only man who started all 2009 games on defense for Bama who was a defensive starter Saturday night. Linebacker Dont'a Hightower had been a starter in 2008 and in 2009 before being injured. New starters on defense for the Crimson Tide were Josh Chapman at nose tackle, Luther Davis and Damion Square at ends, Jerrell Harris at weakside linebacker, Courtney Upshaw at at jack linebacker, Chavis Williams at strongside linebacker, Dre Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie at cornerbacks, and Robert Lester at safety.

When Alabama went to a nickel package, DeMarcus Milliner came in at cornerback, Menzie moved to Star (Bama's name for the nickel), and strongside linebacker Chavis Williams came out. In a dime package (six defensive backs), walk-on Will Lowery came in.

New starters on offense for Alabama were right tackle D.J. Fluker, left guard Chance Warmack, tight end Mike Williams, and tailback Trent Richardson. Richardson of course was starting in place of Mark Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner who is out with a knee injury.

Alabama started the game with three wide receivers and no H-Back. Returning starters for the Crimson Tide are left tackle James Carpenter, center William Vlachos, right guard Barrett Jones, wide receiver Julio Jones, wide receiver Darius Hanks, wide receiver Marquis Maze, and quarterback Greg McElroy. H-Back Preston Dial came in the game on the second play.

Alabama showed some early looks of interest. Trent Richardson was in Wildcat with Brian Motley as an extra tight end on a short yardage play. Julio Jones ran an effective end-around.

A.J. McCarron got his first quarterback action in the second quarter and took just two plays--both passes to Julio Jones--to drive the Tide 40 yards to a touchdown.

Alabama won the coin toss to start the game and elected to receive. Deep backs for Bama on the receiving team were starting tailback Trent Richardson and starting wide receiver Julio Jones. The opening kick went to tight end Michael Williams.

Julio was deep man on the punt return team. When San Jose State continued to kick away from him, the Tide added added Marquis Maze as a second deep back.

Jeremy Shelley was used on Bama's first extra point, but Cade Foster was placement man on kickoffs. Shelley made the first PAT and Foster popped the first kickoff to the end zone. A.J. McCarron was the holder and Carson Tinker the snapper on placekicks.

When Alabama finally punted late in the second quarter, the slight surprise was that it was freshman walk-on Cody Mandell. He responded with a 52-yard punt that could not be returned. He followed it up with another 52-yarder that was a fair catch. Jay Williams, a scholarshipped punter, did not participate.

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