2012 Auburn Tigers football
Auburn Tigers logo.svg
ConferenceSoutheastern Conference
DivisionWestern Division
Record3–9 (0–8 SEC)
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorScot Loeffler (1st season)
Offensive schemePro-style
Defensive coordinatorBrian VanGorder (1st season)
Base defense4–3, Tampa 2
Home stadiumJordan–Hare Stadium
(Capacity: 87,451)
← 2011
2013 →
2012 Southeastern Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
Eastern Division
No.Georgia xy   7 1     12 2  
No. 9 Florida x%   7 1     11 2  
No. 8 South Carolina   6 2     11 2  
No. 23 Vanderbilt   5 3     9 4  
Missouri   2 6     5 7  
Tennessee   1 7     5 7  
Kentucky   0 8     2 10  
Western Division
No. 1 Alabama x$#   7 1     13 1  
No. 14 LSU   6 2     10 3  
No.Texas A&M   6 2     11 2  
Mississippi State   4 4     8 5  
Arkansas   2 6     4 8  
Auburn   0 8     3 9  
Ole Miss*   0 5     0 6  
Championship: Alabama 32, Georgia 28
  • # – BCS National Champion
  • $ – BCS representative as conference champion
  • % – BCS at-large representative
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
  • y – Championship game participant
  • * Ole Miss vacated all wins due to NCAA violations.
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2012 Auburn Tigers football team represented Auburn University in the 2012 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team was coached by Gene Chizik, who was in his fourth season with Auburn. The Tigers played their home games at Jordan–Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama, and competed in the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

On November 25, 2012, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs fired head coach Chizik and all of the assistant coaches after finishing the season 3–9 overall with a 0–8 record in SEC play, the program's worst season in 60 years.[1]

Previous season

Auburn finished 2011 with a record of 8–5 (4–4 SEC) and won the Chick-fil-A Bowl over Virginia 43–24. During the month leading up to the bowl game defensive coordinator Ted Roof resigned to take a similar position at Central Florida before ultimately becoming the defensive coordinator at Penn State, and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn resigned to become the head coach at Arkansas State, but remained with the Tigers through the bowl game. Star running back Michael Dyer was released from his scholarship and followed Malzahn to Arkansas State after violating undisclosed team rules prior to the bowl game.

Forthcoming season

A shooting at an off campus party killed former players Ed Christian and LaDarius Phillips on June 9 after they had planned to transfer. Current Offensive Guard Eric Mack was also shot but survived, he remains on the team, but has not participated in summer drills. Freshman QB Zeke Pike was arrested for public intoxication and was dismissed from the team. Pike will transfer to Louisville. Other transfers included CB Jonathan Rose and OG Thomas O'Reilly. DE Joel Bonomolo quit the team and linebacker Jawara White suffered a career ending neck injury. Transfers Corey Grant, Mike Blakely and Melvin Ray will be eligible to play this upcoming season.

New coordinators

The Tigers played the 2012 season with new coordinators on both offense and defense. On offense, Scot Loeffler took control. Loeffler was previously the offensive coordinator at Temple University, and had served stints as an assistant coach at Michigan, Florida and the Detroit Lions. While serving as a graduate assistant coach at Michigan, Loeffler tutored future New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

The new Auburn defensive coordinator was Brian VanGorder, who most recently served in a similar capacity with the Atlanta Falcons. Also new to the Tigers defensive coaching staff was Willie Martinez, who coached defensive backs. Martinez was previously an assistant coach at Oklahoma. VanGorder and Martinez previously coached together at Georgia in the early 2000s. The Tigers switched to a more aggressive blitzing scheme on defense. The presence of VanGorder on the Tigers’ coaching staff paid dividends in recruiting, as they secured commitments from several high-profile recruits for the 2013 class.

Coaching staff

Name Position Alma mater Year Entering
Gene Chizik Head Coach Florida 4th
Scot Loeffler Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Michigan 1st
Brian VanGorder Defensive Coordinator Wayne State 1st
Trooper Taylor Assistant head coach/Wide receivers Baylor 4th
Curtis Luper Running backs/Recruiting Coordinator Stephen F. Austin 4th
Jeff Grimes Offensive line UTEP 4th
Jay Boulware Special teams Coordinator/Tight ends Texas 4th
Mike Pelton Defensive line Auburn 2nd
Willie Martinez Secondary Miami 1st
Tommy Thigpen Linebackers North Carolina 4th
Kevin Yoxall Head Strength and Conditioning Coach TCU 13th

Returning starters

Key losses

Key returners

Depth chart



Running Backs


Slot Receivers

Wide Receiver

Wide Receiver

Tight End

Left Tackle

Left Guard


Right Guard

Right Tackle


Left End

Defensive Tackle

Defensive Tackle

Right End

Strong Side Linebacker

Middle Linebacker

Weak Side Linebacker

Left Corner Back

Free Safety

Strong Safety

Right Corner Back

Special Teams

Team Captains

Award Finalists

Recruiting class

The main focus in offseason recruiting was adding new offensive linemen. The Tigers signed seven, led by tackles Avery Young and Jordan Diamond, who were both rated five stars by Scouts.com. Parade All-American Shane Callahan and Patrick Miller, both rated as four star recruits, also highlight the recruiting class, as do tackle Will Adams and guard Robert Leff. The final signee to Auburn’s impressive class of offensive linemen is Alex Kozan, who signed with the Tigers three weeks after the National Signing Day. In addition, 2010 signee Shon Coleman has been cleared to play after being cured of acute leukemia. He will have four years of eligibility remaining.

The only high school running back signed was Jovon Robinson; however, he has been unable to practice until potential irregularities in his high school transcripts are resolved. Three running backs have transferred to the Tigers from other programs: Mike Blakely (Florida), Corey Grant (Alabama) and fullback Jay Prosch (Illinois).

The Tigers added two four-star recruits at wide receiver. Ricardo Louis signed with Auburn, picking the Tigers over Florida State; also, the Tigers beat out Georgia Tech for the services of JaQuay Williams. In addition, Melvin Ray transferred from Alabama and will be eligible for the 2013 season. The Tigers also signed two tight ends: highly regarded Ricky Parks and Darrien Hutchinson, who is 6’8” and weighs 272 pounds.

On defense Auburn concentrated on the secondary, picking up four-star recruit Josh Hosely as well as T.J. Davis and Jonathan Jones. Defensive line signees include Parade All-American Gimel President and four-star recruit Tyler Nero, who has been timed running a 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds. Linebackers Cassanova McKinzy and Javier Mitchell round out the class.


September 16:00 p.m.vs. No. 14 Clemson*ESPNL 19–2675,211
September 811:00 a.m.at Mississippi StateESPNL 10–2856,111
September 1511:21 a.m.Louisiana–Monroe*SECN/ESPN3W 31–28 OT85,214
September 226:00 p.m.No. 2 LSU
ESPNL 10–1286,721
October 611:00 a.m.Arkansas
  • Jordan–Hare Stadium
  • Auburn, AL
ESPN2L 7–2485,813
October 1311:21 a.m.at Ole MissSECN/ESPN3L 20–4157,068
October 2011:21 a.m.at VanderbiltSECN/ESPN3L 13–1740,350
October 276:00 p.m.No. 20 Texas A&M
  • Jordan–Hare Stadium
  • Auburn, AL
ESPNUL 21–6385,119
November 311:30 a.m.New Mexico State*dagger
  • Jordan–Hare Stadium
  • Auburn, AL
CSS/ESPN3W 42–774,676
November 107:00 p.m.No. 6 Georgia
ESPN2L 0–3886,146
November 171:00 p.m.Alabama A&M*
  • Jordan–Hare Stadium
  • Auburn, AL
PPVW 51–774,832
November 242:30 p.m.at No. 2 AlabamaCBSL 0–49101,821
Schedule Source:"2012 Auburn Tigers Football Schedule". Retrieved December 28, 2011.

Game summaries

#14 Clemson

See also: 2012 Clemson Tigers football team and Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game

#14 Clemson Tigers vs. Auburn Tigers (Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game)
1 2 34Total
#14 Clemson Tigers 3 10 31026
Auburn Tigers 7 3 6319

at Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia

Mississippi State

See also: 2012 Mississippi State Bulldogs football team

Auburn Tigers at Mississippi State Bulldogs
1 2 34Total
Tigers 0 3 7010
Bulldogs 0 7 14728

at Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS

  • Date: September 8
  • Game time: 11:01 am
  • Game weather: 74°, Wind NW 10 mph, Partly Cloudy
  • Game attendance: 56,111
  • Referee: Hubert Owens
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Dave Pasch, Brian Griese and Jenn Brown


Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks at Auburn Tigers
1 2 34OTTotal
Warhawks 7 7 014028
Tigers 7 14 70331

at Jordan–Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL

#2 LSU

See also: 2012 LSU Tigers football team and Auburn-LSU football rivalry

LSU Tigers at Auburn Tigers (Tiger Bowl)
1 2 34Total
#3 LSU Tigers 9 0 3012
Auburn Tigers 7 3 0010

at Jordan–Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL

  • Date: September 22
  • Game time: 6:06 pm
  • Game weather: 82°, Calm, Sunny
  • Game attendance: 86,721
  • Referee: Tom Ritter
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, and Holly Rowe


Arkansas Razorbacks at Auburn Tigers
1 2 34Total
Razorbacks 7 3 01424
Tigers 0 0 707

at Jordan–Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL

  • Date: October 6
  • Game time: 11:01 am
  • Game weather: 75°, Calm, Mostly Sunny
  • Game attendance: 85,813
  • Referee: Matt Loeffler
  • TV announcers (ESPN): Beth Mowins, Joey Galloway and Tom Luginbill

Ole Miss

See also: 2012 Ole Miss Rebels football team

Auburn Tigers at Ole Miss Rebels
1 2 34Total
Tigers 0 17 3020
Rebels 14 3 71741

at Vaught–Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS

  • Date: October 13
  • Game time: 11:21 am
  • Game weather: 72°, Wind S 3 mph, Fair
  • Game attendance: 57,068
  • Referee: Ken Williamson
  • TV announcers (SEC Network): Dave Neal, Andre Ware, and Angela Mallen


See also: 2012 Vanderbilt Commodores football team

Auburn Tigers at Vanderbilt Commodores
1 2 34Total
Tigers 0 10 0313
Commodores 7 3 7017

at Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN

  • Date: October 20
  • Game time: 11:21 am
  • Game weather: 59°, Wind NW 9 mph, Cloudy
  • Game attendance: 40,350
  • Referee: Matt Moore
  • TV announcers (SEC Network): Dave Neal, Andre Ware, and Cara Capuano

#20 Texas A&M

See also: 2012 Texas A&M Aggies football team

Texas A&M Aggies at Auburn Tigers
1 2 34Total
#20 Aggies 21 21 14763
Tigers 0 7 14021

at Jordan–Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL

New Mexico State

New Mexico State Aggies at Auburn Tigers
1 2 34Total
Aggies 0 0 077
Tigers 0 7 211442

at Jordan–Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL

  • Date: November 3
  • Game time: 11:36 am
  • Game weather: 71°, Calm, Sunny
  • Game attendance: 74,676
  • Referee: Penn Wagers
  • TV announcers (CSS): Matt Stewart, Chris Doering, and Angela Mallen

#7 Georgia

See also: 2012 Georgia Bulldogs football team and Auburn-Georgia football rivalry

Georgia Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers (Deep South's Oldest Rivalry)
1 2 34Total
#7 Bulldogs 14 14 10038
Tigers 0 0 000

at Jordan–Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL

  • Date: November 10
  • Game time: 6:06 pm
  • Game weather: 62°, Calm, Clear and Cool
  • Game attendance: 86,146
  • Referee: Matt Austin
  • TV announcers (ESPN2): Mark Jones, Brock Huard, and Allison Williams

Alabama A&M

Alabama A&M Bulldogs at Auburn Tigers
1 2 34Total
Bulldogs 0 0 707
Tigers 21 14 01651

at Jordan–Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL

  • Date: November 17
  • Game time: 1:05 pm
  • Game weather: 55°, Wind NNE 16 mph, Sunny and Breezy
  • Game attendance: 74,832
  • Referee: Jason McArthur
  • TV announcers (PPV): Andy Burcham and Ben Leard


See also: 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide football team and Iron Bowl

Auburn Tigers at #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (Iron Bowl)
1 2 34Total
Tigers 0 0 000
#2 Crimson Tide 14 28 7049

at Bryant–Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

  • Date: November 24
  • Game time: 2:40 pm
  • Game weather: 53°, Sunny Skies, Winds NW 8 mph
  • Game attendance: 101,821
  • Referee: Matt Moore
  • TV announcers (CBS): Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Gary Danielson (color), Tracy Wolfson (sideline)
1 2Total
(({Visitor))} (({V1))} (({V2))} 0
(({Host))} (({H1))} (({H2))} 0
The Alabama defense in motion against the Tigers' offense.
The Alabama defense in motion against the Tigers' offense.

In the 2012 edition of the Iron Bowl, Alabama shutout the Auburn Tigers 49–0 at Tuscaloosa.[3][4] The Crimson Tide opened the game with a 10-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a two-yard Eddie Lacy touchdown run and a 7–0 lead.[4][5] After the Alabama defense held Auburn to a three-and-out on their first possession, their offense responded with their second touchdown of the afternoon on a two-yard T. J. Yeldon touchdown run for a 14–0 lead.[4][5] The Crimson Tide then forced a Tigers' punt on their second possession, and then scored their third touchdown in as many possessions when A. J. McCarron threw a 37-yard pass to Amari Cooper for a 21–0 lead early in the second quarter.[4][6]

On the Auburn possession that ensued, the Alabama defense collected their first turnover of the game when Robert Lester intercepted a Jonathan Wallace pass at the Tigers' 29-yard line.[6] Five plays later the Crimson Tide led 28–0 after McCarron threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Norwood.[4][5] The Alabama defense held Auburn to their second three-and-out of the game, and then the Crimson Tide scored their fifth touchdown of the game on a one-yard Lacy run for a 35–0 lead.[4][6] Auburn then committed their second turnover of the game when Nico Johnson forced a Tre Mason fumble that Dee Milliner recovered and returned to the Tigers' 35-yard line.[6] Alabama then took a 42–0 halftime lead when McCarron threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Cooper.[4][5]

With the Alabama starters in the game for the first possession of the second half, the defense again held the Tigers to a three-and-out and forced a punt. The offense then made it seven-for-seven on offense when McCarron threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Norwood for a 49–0 lead.[4][6] The Alabama defense then did not allow Auburn to get past their own 41-yard line for the duration of the game and secured their fourth shutout of the season.[6] This marked the second consecutive Iron Bowl in which Auburn's offense was unable to score against Alabama's defense. The victory was the second largest in the history of the Iron Bowl after the 55–0 Alabama win in 1948 and improved Alabama's all-time record against the Tigers to 42–34–1.[7][8]


See also: 2012 NCAA Division I FBS football rankings

Ranking movments
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
— = Not ranked. RV = Received votes.
HarrisNot releasedNot released
BCSNot releasedNot released


  1. ^ Goldberg, Charles (November 25, 2012). "Auburn Fires Gene Chizik After Four Years As Coach". The Birmingham News. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
  2. ^ "Tuscaloosa set for 77th Iron Bowl". RollTide.com. University of Alabama Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. November 19, 2012. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Auburn vs. Alabama: Scoring Summary". RollTide.com. University of Alabama Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. November 24, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "AJ McCarron-led Alabama steamrolls rival Auburn". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 24, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d Kausler, Jr., Don (November 24, 2012). "No. 2 Alabama crushes Auburn 49–0 to win SEC West championship". AL.com. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Auburn vs. Alabama: Play-by-play Summary". RollTide.com. University of Alabama Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. November 24, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  7. ^ Hurt, Cecil (November 24, 2012). "Alabama crushes Auburn". The Tuscaloosa News. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
  8. ^ DeLassus, David. "Alabama vs. Auburn". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2012.