Virginia vs Auburn 2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl Predictions
The Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA, will be the site for the 2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl between the surprising underdog (8-4) Virginia Cavaliers and the odds favorite (7-5) Auburn Tigers. The 2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl is scheduled to kickoff on Saturday evening, New Years Eve, starting at 7:30 PM ET live on ESPN.
It’s worth noting that 2011 Bowl Series point-total experts believe that Virginia and Auburn will combine and score an OVER/UNDER total of 49 points in tonight’s battle. Need help with your 2011-12 Bowl Picks? Try my personal NCAA College Football picks experts, I’m telling you: this guy can’t miss! Don’t believe me? Try him for FREE! Get $50 of Free Picks now, no Obligation!
As the Tigers find themselves in a much different position then they did last year, so do the Cavaliers. Last season, Auburn went undefeated all the way to capturing its second BCS national title with a win over Oregon. With Cam Newton now the front-runner for Rookie of the Year in the National Football League, this year’s Tigers team is whole other animal, no pun intended.
But despite not having a guy like Newton running the offense, by far the biggest criticism of this Auburn team is its lack of consistency on the defensive end. Coming into the postseason, the Tigers’ defense has allowed almost 30 points per game, which ranks 69th, and 406 total yards to their opponents, which is 81st in the country. That simply will not get it done, especially when playing in the SEC.
“I’ve got a locker room full of guys right now and coaches that are hurting and a lot of fans that are hurting as well,” said Tigers coach Gene Chizik after a 14-42 spanking by the Tide. “So this is a tough day. We wanted to keep the game close in the fourth quarter and have a chance to win the game. We got to the fourth quarter and felt like we were somewhere in that ballpark, and the fourth quarter got away from us. We kind of self-destructed.”
The Tigers are also unsure as to who will be leading their offense. Their starting quarterback is still to be decided, with Clint Mosely and freshman Kiehl Frazier as options. Although Moseley has been pretty much the starter this season, Fraziers has been seeing more practice time.
As for Virginia, they found a way to turn last year’s losing record around. After finishing with a losing season at 4-8 in 2010, the Cavaliers are 8-4 and in a much better place than the Tigers many would say. Thus, Virginia is on the brink of finally getting over the hump and getting its first postseason win in six years. Cavs head coach Mike London could not be any prouder of his team, as he has seen how much they have turned things around from a year ago.
“No one thought we’d be this far or get to this point,” said the second year Cavaliers coach.
Virginia will need quarterback Michael Rocco to step it up to have a chance at beating Auburn tonight. Rocco struggled significantly in his last outing against Virginia Tech, which resulted in the Hokies pitching a 0-38 shutout. Rocco finished the game by completing 16 of his 27 passes for 211 yards, but had two interceptions. The sophomore will also need some protection and additional time in the pocket, after having suffered four sacks against V-Tech.