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Saturday’s battle of unbeatens between Alabama and Tennessee came down to the final seconds, but a trend continued for the Crimson Tide that some might say contributed to the loss.

Penalties. 

Bama (now 6–1) committed a record 17 penalties in the SEC showdown in Knoxville, Tenn., giving up 130 yards in the process and despite controlling possession over four quarters (37:29 compared to UT’s 22:31). 

While Alabama had been able to escape other mistake-filled games with wins so far this season, Tennessee (6–1) was able to capitalize with a last-second field goal in a 52–49 victory

It’s not the first time that the Tide have struggled with flags this year. In a 20–19 last-second victory over Texas, Alabama racked up 15 penalties for 100 costly yards.

After the game, Alabama coach Nick Saban said his team needed to learn from the heartbreaking loss.

“The big thing that our players need to do is learn from this experience, have more respect for playing with discipline so we don’t get penalties, we don’t help the other team, we don’t make mental errors that help the other team,” Saban told reporters.

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