"We think that Auburn is a great choice for us to play against Clemson," Stokan says. "Both have a lot of Georgia players. There will be a ton of Georgia high school players playing in the Georgia Dome on Dec. 31. As a matter of fact there are 33 players from Georgia on Clemson and nine from Auburn.
"Players like Tray Blackmon and Brad Lester and Rodgeriqus Smith and Aairon Savage will be playing against the likes of Cullen Harper, James Davis and Aaron Kelly from Clemson. There are going to be a lot of fireworks on New Year's Eve and we appreciate the opportunity."
Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs also comments on the Chick-fil-A Bowl and says he's excited about the opportunity to showcase the football program in Atlanta.
"On behalf of Auburn University and Dr. (Jay) Gogue and Coach (Tommy) Tuberville and his coaches and the student athletes that have represented us so well, we proudly accept the opportunity to come and play. Ten years ago we played Clemson and we look forward to the same outcome this year as we had 10 years ago."
Speaking from New York City where he is currently taking in the festivities surrounding the National Football Foundation banquet on Tuesday, Tuberville says that his team is looking forward to the challenge of taking on Clemson and playing in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
"On behalf of our football team we're looking forward to it, especially our 17 seniors," Tuberville says. "Most of which, if they have the opportunity to win the game, it will be their 50th victory at Auburn the last five years. There is a lot of tradition and a lot of fans. This will probably be the hardest ticket of any bowl game this year including the national championship game.
It's two teams within a hundred or a hundred and 20 miles from Atlanta. It's a great place for our fans to go to and spend money and have a great time, but also it's like another rival game playing against Clemson, a team that's very similar to us. We're looking forward to a great game."
Auburn leads the overall series against Clemson 32-11-2 with the last meeting coming in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl following the 1997 season. In that game Auburn used several big plays by quarterback Dameyune Craig to pull out a 21-17 victory over the Clemson Tigers. Auburn's last appearance in the bowl was in 2001 when the Tigers lost to North Carolina 16-10.
This season the Tigers struggled out of the gate, losing to both South Florida and Mississippi State early, before rebounding with huge wins on the road at Florida and Arkansas. The Tigers finished off the season by defeating rival Alabama for the sixth consecutive time.
The Chick-fil-A Bowl is a guaranteed payout of 5.83 million dollars and will be nationally televised by ESPN. Only 500 tickets remain at both TicketMaster and online at www.chick-fil-abowl.com. Both teams got an allotment of 15,000 tickets. To order tickets fans can contact the AU Ticket Office at 1-800-AUB-1957 or order through the Chick-fil-A Bowl at 404-586-TIXX (8499).
The Chick-fil-A Bowl has sold out 10 years in a row and 13 of 15 since moving into the Georgia Dome in 1992. Over the last 10 years, the Chick-fil-A Bowl ranks first in average attendance among all non-BCS bowl games – 71,664 per game. The Chick-fil-A Bowl also holds the record for the largest football crowd in the history of the Georgia Dome – 75,406 in 2006 (Georgia v. Virginia Tech).
In addition to the game fans can also take part in festivities leading up to the contest such as the Chick-fil-A Bowl parade, which begins at 11:30 CT on game day and comes to an end at the Georgia World Congress Center. Located there will be the Chick-fil-A FanFest by Coca-Cola, which features interactive games, music, food, and pre-game team walks for both schools.