Alabama’s Nick Saban rages after special teams mistake

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There are few things that will upset Alabama head coach Nick Saban more than mental mistakes. 

In the first half against No. 6 Tennessee, Alabama made more than a few, committing nine penalties for 71 yards. Seven of those penalties happened in the first quarter. 

The Tennessee Volunteers fans coordinate to checker Neyland Stadium during a game against the Florida Gators Sept. 24, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn.

The Tennessee Volunteers fans coordinate to checker Neyland Stadium during a game against the Florida Gators Sept. 24, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn.
(Donald Page/Getty Images)

With just under 13 minutes remaining in the second quarter, Alabama finally stopped the Tennessee offense after the Vols had scored touchdowns on their first three possessions. 

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Tennessee punted from inside its own territory, but Alabama junior Quandarrius Robinson inexplicably tried to pick up a bouncing ball with defenders all around him, allowing Tennessee to recover at the Crimson Tide’s 40-yard line. 

And Saban did not take kindly to the mental error. 

Alabama has allowed its most points to an opponent all season — and it did so in the first half — as Tennessee entered halftime up 28-20. 

“We played about as bad as we could play in the first half, especially on defense,” Saban told CBS at halftime, according to AL.com “A lot of penalties. A bad error on special teams to basically give them a score.”

Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide leads the team onto the field prior to facing the Texas A&M Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium Oct. 8, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. 

Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide leads the team onto the field prior to facing the Texas A&M Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium Oct. 8, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. 
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker was 12-for-16 passing for 166 yards and two touchdowns, while the Tennessee rushing attack gained 81 yards, getting into the end zone twice.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban looks toward the Texas A&M sideline in warmups before a game Oct. 8, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. 

Alabama head coach Nick Saban looks toward the Texas A&M sideline in warmups before a game Oct. 8, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. 
(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Tennessee is attempting to beat Saban for the first time since he arrived in Tuscaloosa in 2007. In 15 tries, the Vols are 0-15 against Saban, last winning in 2006. 

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The Vols are off to their best start since 2016, led by an offense that is No. 1 in the country in yards per game (547.8) and No. 7 in passing yards per game (340.4). They are No. 2 in the country in points per game (48.8). 

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