The last of the January 31st Bowl Games is the 2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl, and Jeremy Etters–better known as psusnoop–is here for his third contribution to the BOWL BLITZ INVITATIONAL here at STAT BOX STORIES.
The 2011 Chick-Fil-A Bowl game between Virginia and Auburn is quite the interesting matchup. Just a year ago, Auburn won the BCS National Championship and the Cavaliers are enjoying quite the turn-around. Last year, UVA was 4-8 and really struggling to find itself. This year they had a shot at the ACC title game before losing the finale to Virginia Tech 38-0. Trying to rebound and looking for it’s first bowl win in its last 6 trips, the Cavaliers should have a chip on their shoulder heading into this matchup. The Auburn Tigers have a slight edge ratings wise, so I’m going to roll with UVA in this one.
To start out I finally won a darn coin toss; it felt good to “defer” to the second half. The first quarter was all about defense as both teams were just flying around to the ball and making some really key third down stops. To start the 2nd Quarter though, the Cavaliers were marching down the field and chewing up big amounts of time. I was able to cap it off with a 6 yard TD rush from HB #33.
Auburn though would come back and match that TD with a quick 8 yard TD slant pass from QB #14 to WR#80 to tie the game at 7-7. UVA was able to add a late FG to stroll into halftime with a 10-7 lead and running the gameplan to perfection: play small ball on offense and really try to keep everyone in front on defense. I was running lots of zone coverage to try and avoid the big play and mismatches that can happen when facing a team with the speed of a team like Auburn.
The 3rd quarter was crazy as well. Each team continued to trade 3 and outs till finally Auburn put together a 9 play, 63 yard drive that resulted in a FG from K#36 to tie it up 10-10. UVA would quickly go 3 and out again but Auburn QB#14 would give them the ball back after a very nice over the shoulder INT by CB#23
UVA’s fortune though would end when they returned the favor and threw a pick of their own when Auburn’s FS#15 would step in front of TE#89 and make the pick.
Each team would go 3 and out but when UVA would punt the ball back to Auburn the game took the turn UVA was looking for when they were able to separate the returner from the ball and return it to the house for a 17-10 lead.
From there UVA’s defense would hold Auburn out of the endzone and really only gave up one drive that threatened to score a touchdown when they rose up again and came up with a nice sack and forced a FG attempt from 48 yards which K#36 nailed easily. That made it 17-13 and, hoping they could generate a stop, Auburn’s defense would bend then break as they gave up a 27 yard pass down the sideline from UVA QB#16 to WR #18 to seal the win and give the Cavaliers their first bowl win in a long time.
As 2011 draws to a close tonight and 2012 begins with New Year’s Day tomorrow, we look forward to Monday, January 2nd and another full slate of Bowl Games; including the BCS BOWL GAMES starting with the 2012 Rose Bowl and 2012 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl! You won’t want to miss any of the action here at STAT BOX STORIES!
Guest Author Bio:
Jeremy Etters (PSN ID: psusnoop) is a long time NCAA Football series “crazy” fan. He is one of the few and proud who scrambles around trying to get a copy of the game before the release date every year. Jeremy enjoys NCAA Football, NHL, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Madden NFL, and lately a lot of Battlefield 3. He is also on Twitter @psusnoop though he mainly just follows @JBHuskers to see if he is going to Target today or not.