Awful is not a word used often to describe Nick Saban’s coaching.

Chris “Mad Dog” Russo did.

In an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” with Stephen A. Smith, Russo got fired up when speaking on Alabama’s 17 penalties and more in its loss to Tennessee.

“17 penalties, 17,” Russo said. “You gave up 50 to Tennessee and that wide receiver caught 5 touchdown passes and 210 yards, my goodness! Then at the end of the game, he’s got a first down at the 33 yard line, he has to run out the clock, kick the field goal and get out in Knoxville. What does he do? He throws 3 incomplete passes, missed the field goal and Tennessee goes down the field and wins it with a field goal.”

He’s not wrong. All Alabama had to do was run out the clock at least, so Tennessee didn’t have time for a drive and you at least have the opportunity in overtime if the kick still misses. Saban had an opportunity to erase all of the blunders and escape with a win, but everyone knows how that went down.

No, Saban can’t control his kicker missing field goals and not completing a pass at the end, but clock management and penalties is a coaching thing.

Given the history of Saban’s tenure in Alabama, things will probably be fine, but that doesn’t take away from the events that transpired in Knoxville.

“Be fair Nick, that was a pretty awful job by you and your team over the weekend,” Russo said.