by CFP Staff
January 1, 2012
Auburn blocked two Virginia punts and recovered an onside kick en route to a 42-23 Chick-fil-A Bowl win in the last college football game of 2012.
Virginia had early leads of 7-0 and 14-7 before the Tigers reeled off 21 straight points to take command.
Auburn's 5th straight bowl win improved its all-time bowl record to 22-13-2.
Playing without suspended star running back Mike Dyer, Auburn still had 273 net rushing yards as Onterio McCalebb had 109 yards and a TD on 10 carries. Tre Mason added 65 yards and a TD on 9 rushing attempts, and Kiehl Frazier had two short TD runs in the 1st half.
Furthermore, QB Clint Moseley left with an ankle injury in the first quarter so Barrett Trotter came in and completed 11-of-18 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown.
The defending national champions finished the season 8-5 with the bowl win and improved their record vs. Virginia to 2-1. The Tigers are now 4-1 overall in Chick-fil-A bowls.
Virginia also finished 8-5 while dropping to 2-2 in Chick-fil-A Bowls after their first bowl appearance since 2007.
The Cavaliers were second in the ACC Coastal Division as Mike London, the ACC Coach of the Year, guided the Cavaliers to a four-win improvement in his second season.
The Tigers spent seven weeks in the AP Top 25 poll, but lost to LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Clemson. They also defeated top 10 South Carolina in Columbia. Based on the strength of its schedule, Auburn got into the final BCS rankings at No. 25.
Fan Poll voters at CollegeFootballPoll.com were split 50-50 on which team would win. The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com projected the Tigers to win by 1.81 points.