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Auburn defensive starters Owen Pappoe, TD Moultry unavailable against Arkansas
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Auburn defensive starters Owen Pappoe, TD Moultry unavailable against Arkansas

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Auburn v Penn State September 18, 2021 (copy)

Auburn linebacker Owen Pappoe (0) chases down Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford (14) during the Tigers’ game against Penn State on Sept. 18 in State College, Pa.

Auburn will once again be playing without two of its defensive starters on Saturday.

Junior linebacker Owen Pappoe and super senior EDGE TD Moultry will not be available for the Tigers’ game against Arkansas. Pappoe has not played since sustaining an apparent leg injury against Penn State on Sept. 18, while Moultry missed the LSU game and the Georgia game the last two weeks.

Pappoe was among his teammates Saturday but was not dressed out. Moultry was absent, as he was for the LSU and Georgia games.

Pappoe entered 2021 after a sophomore season in which he posted the second-most tackles for the Tigers in 2020. He recorded 15 tackles to start the season before leaving the Tigers’ third game against Penn State in the second half with an apparent leg injury.

Pappoe did not play in Auburn’s games against Georgia State on Sept. 25 or against LSU last Saturday. Super senior Chandler Wooten was still in Pappoe’s place against Georgia.

Moultry has been one of the team’s most productive pass rushers this fall. Through four games, Moultry has a team-high three sacks along with 23 tackles, six tackles for loss and two quarterback hurries.

Pappoe’s absence has led to a bigger role for senior captain Chandler Wootem, who has a team-leading 43 tackles along with three tackles for loss and a pass break-up through six games.

“[Chandler has] filled that role, which is what good players do,” Harsin said. “He’s obviously a leader on this team, but to me he’s one of those guys you want to have. You want more guys like him with that kind of attitude and mentality and work ethic and focus and drive and all those things that really make someone successful.”

As for Moultry’s spot, Northwestern transfer Eku Leota has filled his spot as part of a season in which the junior has 10 tackles, six tackles for loss and four sacks.

Auburn’s game against Arkansas kicks off at 11 a.m.

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