Don’t Hate The Player – NCAA ’13 Simulation Week 4
Okay, so my simulated season isn’t exactly the most realistic at this point. For example, in week 3 of the simulated season, Arkansas defeated Alabama by 10. In real life, the Crimson Tide beat Arkansas 52-0
It hasn’t been too far off, either. Northwestern has been in close games in each of the first three simulated weeks, but came out on the losing end against Vanderbilt and BC.
In real ife, Northwestern is 3-0 and faces South Dakota this weekend. As an FCS (formerly 1-AA) school, South Dakota is not in NCAA Football 13. EA provides generic filler teams for every case where an FBS team like Northwestern schedules a lower-division opponent. This week in the simulation, the Wildcats face the FCS Midwest Dragons.
Like real life, the larger schools are heavily favored when facing the generic FCS squads. As always, I’ll use NCAA Football 13’s SuperSim function under default settings to determine the winner. Then, I’ll look at what else is happening in the simulated season. You’ll notice that the rankings don’t always match up with real life. This is a result of my simulated 2012 season running independently from real life.
NU (1-2): Overall: B, Offense: B, Defense: B-
FCS MW: Overall: D- Offense: D-, Defense: D-
Northwestern Game Recap
Northwestern’s offense started the game by attempting big plays to demonstrate their athletic advantage over their FCS opponent. That plan didn’t work on the first drive, which ended on a Kain Colter interception. The second time around, the Wildcats marched down the field and scored on a short run by fullback Tyris Jones. In a game where Northwestern was heavily favored, injuries were a concern. Safety Hunter Bates suffered a hip pointer and would miss most of the game.
The result of the game was never really in question. Northwestern’s defense was particularly fierce, allowing the offense to start with great field position throughout the game. Wide receiver Christian Jones had 2 touchdown catches in the 2nd quarter and Northwestern led 20-0 at halftime.
The FCS Midwest Dragons gained only 95 yards of total offense in the first half. The only question at the start of the second half was if the lead would grow big enough to put in the backups. The lead had ballooned to 39-0 midway through the third quarter. The Wildcats scored, forced a safety, kicked a field goal, and scored again. All the while, the Northwestern defense kept their opponents off the scoreboard.
The second unit came in at the start of the 4th quarter and allowed a touchdown. Trevor Siemian responded with a scoring drive that ended with Christian Jones’s third short TD catch of the day. At that point, the score was 46-7.
Northwestern would add a late, meaningless field goal to win 49-7.
Everyone expected a big victory, and the virtual ‘Cats didn’t disappoint. Northwestern improved to 2-2 in the simulated season after consecutive home losses. The Wildcats put up gaudy numbers against an inferior team. Kain Colter threw for 322 yards and 3 touchdowns; he also scored one with his feet. The offensive strategy was to stretch the field with Demetrius Fields, and he responded with over 170 yards receiving and a touchdown. Northwestern dominated in the trenches as well, earning four sacks while giving up just two.
Big Games This Week
#18 Kansas State @ #3 Oklahoma: Kansas State wins, 31-24.
#1 LSU @ Auburn: LSU wins, 28-16.
Bowling Green @ #11 Virginia Tech: Bowling Green scores an upset, 28-3.
Arizona @ #2 Oregon: Oregon wins, 35-10.
#10 Clemson @ #7 Florida State: Florida State wins, 44-17.
#6 Michigan @ #25 Notre Dame: Notre Dame wins, 35-28
Around the Big Ten
Michigan State improved to 4-0, as did Wisconsin. Both schools are in the top 15 in the polls. Iowa also improved to 4-0, while Minnesota (previously undefeated) lost to Syracuse. The only other Big Ten school to lose this week was Michigan. Ohio State, Nebraska, Illinois and Penn State all cruised to wins against non-power-conference schools.
Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Montee Ball, HB, Wisconsin
Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
Kenny Hilliard, HB, LSU
Malcolm Brown, HB, Texas