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December 31, 2011

College Football Report - 2011 Bowl Picks - Chick-fil-A Bowl:

Chick-fil-A Bowl

#25 Auburn (7-5) vs. Virginia (8-4)

V S.

7:30 PM, ESPN, Saturday, Dec. 31, Atlanta, GA

Why Watch: Mike London’s Cavalier team made a bowl for the first time since the 2007 Gator Bowl. Auburn fell from the BCS National Championship and 14-0 season to 7-5 this season, as quarterback Cam Newton turned out to be the difference of seven wins. How the Tigers sit with a ranking in the polls right now is a big question.

Who to Watch: The focus of this Cavaliers team is its running game and the man that makes it work is junior Perry Jones. The 5-foot-8 Jones brought in 883 yards on the ground this season and added another 416 receiving. He also tallied eight total touchdowns in a shared backfield role. Sophomore Auburn defensive end Corey Lemonier was counted upon having a big season and he delivered. The former five star recruit brought in 13.5 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks in his second season. He also tallied 44 tackles and 15 quarterback hurries.

How it’s Going Down: It’s amazing how far the Tigers fell from an undefeated 14-0 season to this year, but most of it can be placed on the quarterback position. The duties now belong to sophomore Clint Moseley and true freshman Kiehl Frazier, although neither has been able to do much of anything with the job. Ranked No. 104 in total offense, the Tigers could never really get into a winning rhythm this season. London’s Virginia team plays physical football on both sides of the ball. With the strength of the Cavaliers being their run game and with the Tigers allowing over 194 yards a game on the ground, Virginia should be able to find room to run all night long. All Virginia quarterback Michael Rocco has to do is manage the game. Pick: Virginia 31 – Auburn 17

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