The Chick-fil-A Bowl has two teams that look to represent their conference with a huge win as the Virginia Cavaliers (8-4, 5-3) take on the Auburn Tigers (7-5, 4-4).
These two teams share a lot in common as both teams finished this year averaging around 24 points per game while having defenses that gave up between 22 to 29 points per game.
Both teams excelled in either the running or passing game; Virginia having the advantage in quarterback play, while Auburn has the advantage at running back.
This game will be an excellent contest between two teams that will be looking to end their season with a big victory.
Where: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
When: Saturday Dec. 31st, 7:30 PM ET
Watch: ESPN, ESPN 3D and ESPN-3.com
Listen: Auburn Tigers: WLWI FM 92.3 Virginia Cavaliers: WINA 1070 AM
Betting Line: According to 5Dimes, the Auburn Tigers are a three-point favorite. You should take the Tigers in this game because of Virginia’s passing defense that gave up 215 yards per game to quarterbacks.
Key Storyline: Can Virginia pull off a program defining victory against the defending BCS National Champions? Or, will Auburn finish off a disappointing 2011 season with a victory over Virginia?
Who Might Not Play for Auburn (According to USA Today.com)
LB LaDarius Owens is questionable with a foot injury.
TE Phillip Lutzenkirchen is questionable with a knee injury. Lutzenkirchen suffered the injury against Alabama and is still on the fence if he is going to play.
CB Chris Davis is questionable with a knee injury. Davis suffered the knee injury against Alabama and has not made a call if he will be able to play in Saturday’s bowl game.
Who Might Not Play for Virginia (According to USA Today.com)
WR Matt Snyder is probable with a foot injury. Despite the injury, Snyder should play against Auburn.
CB Dom Joseph is questionable with a lower body injury. Joseph did not play against Virginia Tech and is a big question mark to play in the Chic-Fill-A Bowl.
WR E.J. Scott is questionable with a throat injury. He is recovering from throat issues but is still questionable for Saturday’s game.
What it Means for Auburn
A win for Auburn would help build towards the 2012 season. They can take this momentum and use it to springboard to a better 2012 season, where they find their way back to the top of the SEC.
What it Means for Virginia
A win for Virginia would be a huge help in recruiting for their program. They can say that they have beaten a defending BCS champion.
What They're Saying
Auburn: Charles Goldberg from the AL.com is taking a look at Auburn’s backup quarterback Kiehl Frazier, and he will get a chance at starting next year if he has a huge game against Virginia.
Auburn backup quarterback Kiehl Frazier isn't going to be trapped by a question on whether he's auditioning for a starting job in Saturday's Chick-fil-A Bowl.
"I wouldn't say it's a statement game for me, necessarily, but for our whole team," he said.
Virginia: Charles Odum from the Associated Press takes a look at how Virginia’s head coach, Mike London, has turned this team around from 4-8, to 8-4.
No player on Virginia’s team has appeared in a bowl game. A few fifth-year seniors were on the 2007 team that went to the Gator Bowl, but they didn’t play.
Virginia (8-4) finished 4-8 last year in London’s first season.
“We talked about it every year and fell short the last two or three years,” senior defensive end Cam Johnson said. “We knew going in this was our last shot at it. Everybody did their part.”
Johnson said it was frustrating sitting at home watching other teams play in bowl games the last three years.
Auburn Player to Watch: Quarterback Clint Moseley
Moseley has taken over as the Auburn starting quarterback for Barrett Trotter. In Moseley's five games as the Auburn starting quarterback, he has gone off in one game for four touchdowns and 160 passing yards.
However, where Moseley will be his most dangerous will be if he can get into a rhythm to find his receivers. Against Ole Miss, Moseley went 12 for 16, and had a QB rating of 257.6.
Virginia Player to Watch: Quarterback Michael Rocco
Rocco has been a huge reason for Virginia’s big finish this year, winning four of their last six games.
In those four victories, Rocco had three games where he threw two touchdowns, and one game where he threw for over 300 yards.
While in those four games, Rocco only threw one interception—compared to earlier in the year when he went on a three-game stretch throwing two-to-three interceptions per game.
Key Matchup: Clint Moseley vs. Virginia’s Defense
Moseley will be called upon to win this game, since Michael Dyer is suspended for undisclosed reasons.
Virginia has done a great job this year in keeping quarterbacks from scoring, only allowing 18 touchdowns on the season. If Virginia can hold Moseley to less than 250 yards and out of the end zone, they will come out victorious in this game.
Moseley will throw for over 200 yards with two touchdowns against Virginia. Moseley's passing game will help in control the game clock while wearing Virginia's defense down with quick passes.
This will help keep the Tigers defense fresh, thus holding back Rocco and the Virginia offense.
Auburn 27 - Virginia 20
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