Don’t Hate the Player: NCAA Football 14 Simulation of Northwestern vs. Michigan
WNUR Sports Online Content Director Cameron Songer (@CameronSonger) uses EA Sports NCAA Football 14 to predict the outcome of Northwestern-Michigan.
In the simulated season, Northwestern is 6-3 and right on the bubble between being ranked and unranked. Also, Ryan Field is always filled to capacity with almost exclusively purple-clad fans. Who ever said reality had to be better than fantasy?
Key Players on Northwestern
SS Ibraheim Campbell (JR): 91 Overall, 88 speed
QB Kain Colter (SR): 91 Overall, 86 agility
K Jeff Budzien (SR): 88 Overall, 92 kick power
Key players on Michigan
WR Jeremy Gallon (SR): 90 Overall, 98 acceleration
QB Devin Gardner (JR): 89 Overall, 92 throw power
OLB Jake Ryan (JR): 89 Overall, 91 tackle
Northwestern: Overall: B, Offense: B, Defense: B
Michigan: Overall: B+, Offense: B+, Defense: A-
Northwestern Game Recap
Northwestern’s first drive went three-and-out, and Michigan’s almost did the same, except for a daring 4th-and-2 conversion near midfield. 8 plays later, Michigan faced 3rd and goal at the 1 and punched it in. That long drive took most of the first quarter, and Northwestern started the second quarter on a drive, but trailing 7-0.
The ‘Cats moved it down the field using a five-wideout set and quick screen passes to Tony Jones. Kain Colter finished the drive with a short TD run to tie the game at 7.
Most of the rest of the quarter featured punting. A lot of punting. The Wildcats finally strung another drive together in the final 90 seconds of the quarter thanks to a pair of long receptions by Rashad Lawrence. That possession culminated in a 29 yard Jeff Budzien field goal to put Northwestern ahead 10-7 at halftime.
Michigan started the second half with the ball, needing just 5 plays to reach the NU 30 yard line. From there, it was one more play- an end around featuring Jeremy Gallon- that got them in the end zone. 14-10, Wolverines. A Northwestern three-and-out was followed by four more long Michigan passes, with Devin Gardner finally throwing the game’s first TD pass. 21-10, Wolverines halfway through the third. The rest of the quarter had no scoring and a bunch of punts.
Northwestern got the ball at the start of the fourth quarter, needing a spark. Unfortunately, a Kain Colter interception inside of Wildcat territory just added to what had become a miserable half. Seven plays later, Gardner hit Gallon for a TD pass and this one was essentially over. At 28-10, Northwestern fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Michigan recovered and scored a few plays later to make it 35-10. Kain Colter derailed a late promising drive with a second interception and that wrapped it up. Final score: Michigan 35, Northwestern 10.
As is sometimes the case in real life, Northwestern played one good half and one awful half. At this point in the Wildcats’ season, a 25-point loss after holding a halftime lead doesn’t even sound that far-fetched, and that’s depressing. To be fair, Michigan is a better (virtual) team and played a cleaner game. The Wolverines won the turnover battle, 3-0, and outgained Northwestern by 100 yards. The star player for Northwestern was Damien Proby, who notched 11 tackles and deflected a pass.
Big Games This Week
Washington 51, UCLA 3
Georgia 17, Auburn 15
USC 27, Stanford 24
Around the Big Ten
Penn State 31, Purdue 24
Nebraska 30, Michigan State 20
Ohio State 45, Illinois 10
Indiana 34, Wisconsin 24