'Bama's blockers playing major role in resurgence

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's offensive line has helped pave the way for the Crimson Tide's fast start.

Left tackle Andre Smith said the linemen have taken the approach that they would lead the team and be more physical.

The second-ranked Tide has the Southeastern Conference's top rushing offense.

It's no surprise the line has been a strength of the team. Smith won the SEC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy as a sophomore for the league's top blocker.

Center Antoine Caldwell was named a permanent team captain after last season and is one of the Tide's most vocal leaders.

And the starting five has a combined 109 career starts going into Saturday's game with Kentucky.

Smith said the linemen also got considerably stronger during the offseason.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)