Auburn's rebuilding season ends on high note

By John Zenor

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Jan. 1 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Auburn head coach Gene Chizik, center, is embraced by linebacker Daren Bates, left, after Auburn defeated Virginia 43-24 to win the Chick-fil-A Bowl NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, in Atlanta.

David Goldman, Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. — The Auburn Tigers finished a difficult season with a high note and plenty of questions.

The Tigers headed into the offseason still seeking an offensive and defensive coordinator and must resolve the situation of suspended tailback Mike Dyer. They still turned in perhaps their best all-around performance since last season's national championship game with a 43-24 win over Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Saturday night.

Auburn finished 8-5 with a team that only had 28 upperclassmen on scholarship and weathered injury troubles.

Quarterbacks Clint Moseley, Barrett Trotter and freshman Kiehl Frazier all are eligible to return.

The Tigers had 16 freshmen play this season and six started games. Coach Gene Chizik says that makes for a bright future. Plus he says 2011 supplied "a lot of learning moments."

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