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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Madubuike: ‘I just have to keep moving forward’

Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Freshman defensive lineman Justin Madubuike blocked Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson’s field goal attempt during the first quarter at Kyle Field Nov. 4. Auburn went on to defeat Texas A&M 42-27.

As Texas A&M tries to recover from offensive struggles faced in its devastating 28-13 loss to Mississippi State last Saturday, defensive lineman Justin Madubuike is confident in his team’s ability to bounce back for Saturday’s matchup against Auburn.
“The most disappointing thing about Saturday was the loss itself,” Madubuike said. “You don’t come into a game planning to lose, so every loss is something that we have to take personal.”
For the Aggies to get back on track, they have to focus on fixing the small things, Madubuike said.
“We’re going to start in practice, working on the little things and cleaning things that we exposed in the game,” Madubuike said.
This season, the sophomore from McKinney has recorded 20 tackles with nine solo and 11 assists, along with six tackles for a loss of 29 yards. In the Aggies’ loss to Mississippi State, Madubuike contributed to three tackles.
Despite all the good he’s done for the Aggie defense, Madubuike has also had his share of the bad, in the form of four facemask penalties over A&M’s eight games.
“All I try to do is just get after the quarterback as fast and as relentless as I can,” Madubuike said. “That’s my job, so whatever happens, I just have to keep moving forward and watch my hands.”
This Saturday, the Aggies will face another tough SEC challenge in Auburn. The leader for the Tigers is quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who has played well against A&M in the past. The Tigers have also utilized running quarterback Malik Willis to balance the offense and score points on the ground. However, Madubuike said the A&M defense isn’t too focused on that.
“We’ll prepare for it just like any other game,” Madubuike said. “We practice consistently, repetitions, and have an idea of it and when the game comes, we’ll be prepared for it.”
In last year’s loss to Auburn, Madubuike blocked a 48-yard field goal attempt.
Madubuike said that a large part of the preparation for this week’s game is mental, as both A&M and Auburn are in dire need of a win.
“We’re desperate,” Madubuike said. “We just took a loss and nobody on the team is happy about that. We’re all taking it personal. We’re all going to key into the little things.”
Madubuike said that moving forward, Texas A&M has to figure out how to compete against SEC teams.
“Auburn’s a great team,” Madubuike said. “No one in the SEC is easy. Nobody is just going to hand it to you. You have to prepare for everybody the same way and just take it one day at a time.”
Despite A&M’s struggles last Saturday, Madubuike said he remains confident in his team.
“We’re a great defense and we can do anything we put our mind to,” Madubuike said. “We can do whatever we need to do to win the game.”

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