'Bama's overhauled line still effective - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

'Bama's overhauled line still effective

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - No. 3 Alabama's offensive line is smaller and more athletic than last year's group, and has little of the star power.

The Crimson Tide's blockers are still managing to pave the way for a running game that ranks fifth in the nation and keep defenders off quarterback Greg McElroy going into Saturday's Southeastern Conference opener against Arkansas.

Coach Nick Saban said it's a different type of line than last year's group but has played with a lot of toughness. All-Americans Andre Smith and Antoine Caldwell and guard Marlon Smith all were bigger than their replacements.

James Carpenter, William Vlachos and Barrett Jones have taken their place.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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