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  With senior linebacker K.J. Britt sidelined due to thumb surgery, all eyes were on Auburn's other linebackers Saturday in their first test without the team's leading tackler. While the performance wasn't perfect, the group showed they were willing to do what was asked of them in order to keep the Tigers in contention. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn had previously named sophomore Owen Pappoe and junior Zakoby McClain as two players who needed to step up in Britt's absence, and against the Razorbacks the duo delivered. McClain was Auburn's leading tackler with 13 tackles to go with two quarterback hurries, while Pappoe followed close behind with 10 tackles and a sack.

Malzahn announced on Sunday that McClain and Pappoe each earned Auburn's defensive helmet stickers for their play against the Razorbacks. For Pappoe, the linebackers' collective play was the product of a mentality in which whoever is on the field has got to deliver. "I honestly think we all stepped up. It wasn't perfect, but due to the players we lost we all stepped up and did the best we could," Pappoe said on Saturday. "(It's) all hands on deck. We have the mentality of next man up. We were talking before the game like, 'This one's for KJ.' We went out there and gave our all … We just have to keep being prepared for that, and I think we'll be alright going down the line." - Opelika-Auburn News

(DS#1 OLB) So/2023 OLB Owen PappoeAuburn
News Source: Opelika-Auburn News



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