Smashing early reviews

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Parse through the plays, formations and shifts at the line and you'll see a few wrinkles in the Alabama offense.

First-year offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier loaded the box, calling for a power formation to punch in the Tide's first touchdown against Michigan on Saturday. The difference from a year ago? Alabama went to a two-tight end, two-back, I-set. AJ McCarron faked the handoff to Eddie Lacy and flipped an easy pass to a wide open Michael Williams in the end zone.

The next series, Nussmeier dialed up another I-formation, this time with two wide receivers. Again, McCarron faked the handoff, wideout DeAndrew White gave the defense a double move and left Michigan cornerback Courtney Avery in the dust. He might as well have been wearing stripes, he was so open. The easy 51-yard throw and catch put the Tide up 14-0.