Down 14-3 against an unrelenting offense, Auburn’s defense was on its heels. In only three drives it had given up 191 yards. And to make matters worse, its offense had just turned over the ball, dealing with the early struggles of a freshman quarterback.
Someone needed to step up. They needed a leader. KJ Britt was that guy.
“The whole time, we were positive,” said Britt, who replaces Deshaun Davis as the Tigers' starter at middle linebacker. “Never was there a moment that anybody doubted that we were going to win. Nobody ever hung their heads low. We knew we were going to fight no matter what.”
Britt not only tallied seven tackles, including one and a half for loss during the 27-21 comeback win, but he also was a pillar for the defensive players to rely on.
Last year, at the Mike linebacker position, was the ever-vocal presence of Davis. Davis was a senior and seen as the heart and soul of the defense. He was everywhere on the field, then was everywhere on the sideline, continually picking up his teammate’s heads when they were down. Once Davis graduated, Britt had to fill those shoes.
Britt cited leadership as the key to bottling up Oregon’s offense. He knows that Auburn is looked upon as one of the top units in the country, so he was confident that they had the talent to right the ship.
“We just had to settle down,” Britt said. “Make a few corrections and make a few adjustments. We’re going to be alright.”
Even after the best statistical game of his career, Britt sees room for improvement.
“I’m not satisfied,” Britt said. “I had too many mental errors. Little stuff I got to work on. We got to keep chopping wood.”
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Bryce Johnson is a junior Journalism major at Auburn University from Santa Monica, CA. He works as a sports writer for The Plainsman.