A game that has been self-proclaimed as the most realistic game on the market, NCAA 14 put forth a very bold statement that I fully intend to test. Throughout the last 10 years I have always spent countless hours playing the newest version of this game and seeing if I could replicate the results that would be played out on the field. Before this season I decided to see how realistic this game would be which stemmed a reason for this article. Each week I fully intend to give you a sample of what results we can theoretically expect based off what EA sports has ranked both our beloved Broncos and their opponents.
The scenario for each of these match-ups is a simple process, I take the current roster and set up multiple dynasties and simulate the season in order to collect my data. To make sure I had a large enough sample size I simulated seven seasons to gather the right information. In order to make it easier to follow I have edited the roster to include actual names of the players and aside from that we are all EA sports. I fully intend with each opponent to give you a best case scenario, worst case scenario, and a possible outcome.
As August 31st drew closer, broadcasters alike seemed very shaky in selecting another Boise State victory to open the season. Maybe it was the lack of returning starters, the newly renovated stadium, or the fact that Washington was seeking revenge from the previous match-up in Vegas. One thing was forgotten in the shuffle when it came time to predict a winner: Chris Petersen had a plan, a plan that would be executed to perfection.
Boise State came ready to play and jumped to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter behind two Jay Ajayi scores. A field goal from Washington with 31 second left in the quarter brought the game closer, but a 14-3 advantage was in BSU’s favor after the first fifteen minutes of the game. The second quarter started very similar to how the first began. A Dallas Burroughs touchdown reception followed up by a Holden Huff touchdown reception gave the Broncos a 28-3 halftime lead.
The Broncos came into the second half and immediately scored again with an 11 yard touchdown pass from Southwick to Huff. Washington finally got on the board with a touchdown pass from Keith Price halfway through the third quarter. Boise State caught fire again driving it down the field and Jay Ajayi walked into the end zone for his third score of the game. With the fourth quarter starting Washington fans began to exit their newly renovated stadium as their Huskies were down 42-10. Washington wasn’t done as Bishop Sankey took a 43 yard run for the score behind a sweep play ran to perfection. Boise State decided to put in their second team offense and they didn’t disappoint as Derrick Thomas also punched a 5 yard run in for a score with less than 5 minutes left in the game. That last score took the final wind out of the Huskie’s sails and the game ended with a victory for Boise State.
Final Score: Boise State 49 – Washington 17
Clouds slowly started to creep in leading towards game time and for some reason it seemed foreshadowing to what might not be the outcome we wanted for our Broncos. Keith Price quickly walked into the end zone from a short 5 yards away for an early score. Boise State responds immediately, capping a drive with a Derrick Thomas touchdown run from 5 yards out. Right before the end of the first quarter Washington kicked a 42 yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead. To begin the second quarter the Broncos drove the ball down the field and took a 14-10 lead after an 11 yard pass from Southwick to Holden Huff. Keith Price responded a little later in the second quarter and choreographed a drive that closed out the half with a touchdown pass that retook the lead 17-14 heading into halftime.
As the second half started it appeared something wasn’t right for our beloved Broncos as Washington drove the ball down the field and kicked another field goal from 45 yards out. After numerous unsuccessful drives that lead to punts, Washington again took the ball towards the end zone and finished off a successful drive a with 27 yard touchdown pass from Price to Williams. Uncharacteristically Boise State couldn’t find an answer for Price who led yet another drive capped off with Bishop Sankey running in from 13 yards away for the touchdown. Boise State finally put an end to the unanswered points and Matt Miller caught a 5 yard pass for the score. However momentum was quickly returned to Washington’s favor as Mickens returned a 97 yard kickoff for one more score. The Broncos seemed to have run out of steam as the remaining 8 minutes of the game was a finished off with more punting for both teams. Husky Stadium had been opened up with a win and possibly derailing any chance of a BCS birth for the Broncos.
Final Score: Washington 40 – Boise State 21
As game time draws closer a cool autumn wind starts to chill the air, but nothing could distract these teams as they continue to prepare themselves for the game at hand. Both teams take the field ready battle, each with a different outcome repeating in their mind. For Washington the thought of revenge and christening their new stadium with win, plays over and over, while with Boise State thoughts of one more BCS run, replay in their mind.
Washington wins the toss and elects to differ and prepares to not only kick off, but to start what they’ve prepared for, for the last eight months. Boise state takes the initial kickoff back to the 37 yard line thanks to a Shane Williams Rhodes return. Joe Southwick comes out to open the 2013 season and drives the ball 63 yards for the score. A quick slant route to Matt Miller opens up the game with a 7-0 Boise State lead. Washington returns the favor with Bishop Sankey leading the drive with 46 yards on 7 carries and ties up the game at 7-7.
Over the next 15 minutes defenses begin to stymy the opposing offenses as drives stall for multiple possessions ending in the punters getting some work. Late in the 2nd quarter Joe Southwick leads the Broncos down the field and sets up Tyler Rausa (EA’s projection) for a 35 yard field goal which he slips just inside the left upright. Opening the 2nd half Washington takes the ball and drives it quickly down the field for a touchdown. Feeling the momentum in their favor they line up for the two point conversion and after a Sankey run the score is now 15-10. Joe Southwick on the very next play throws an interception after a deflected pass. Washington continues their momentum and drives down to the 20 yard line, but after a Demarcus Lawrence sack, Washington is forced into a field goal. Washington now leads 18-10 with 4:45 left in the 3rd quarter.
Southwick rekindles his composure and behind the legs of Jay Ajayi and Derrick Thomas take it down to the 3 yard line. A short run up the middle for Ajayi puts the Broncos just behind 18-17 heading into the fourth quarter. Early in the fourth quarter Keith Price is sacked by Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe and Beau Martin causing a fumble that is recovered by Boise State. Holden Huff slips into the middle of the field and Joe Southwick finds him open for a 26 yard score giving the Broncos a 24-18 advantage. Over the next couple drives both teams are forced into having to punt the ball.
With 3:30 left in the game Washington starts their drive from their own 26 yard line and with Bishop Sankey leading the way, the Huskies slowly start to chip away at the clock and drive down into Bronco territory. After a 15 yard run from Bishop Sankey the Huskies are 1:15 and 17 yards away from starting their season off 1-0. A quick strike from Price to Seferian-Jenkins puts the Huskies 2 yards from the end zone with 0:45 left in the game. Boise State calls timeout and brings in the personnel to hopefully complete a goal line stand. Washington motions and Seferian-Jenkins is lined up in the backfield and leads the way for Sankey who walks into the end zone, and after the PAT conversion takes a 25-24 lead with 0:23 on the clock. At this moment it looks like this season may start just as our last season did, potentially derailing hopes of one final BCS Bowl game. Sadly the agony of defeat is left upon the shoulders of Bronco Nation as Washington finishes off the game with a batted down Hail Mary and secures the win.
Final Score: Washington 25 – Boise State 24
Stats from game:
Joe Southwick: 16-27, 2 td – 1 int, 233 yards
Jay Ajayi 13 carries 54 yds, 1 td
Derrick Thomas 8 carries 41 yds, 0 td
Matt Miller 7 rec, 105 yds, 1 td
Holden Huff 7 rec, 93 yds, 1 td
Demarcus Lawrence 6 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack
Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe 6 tackles, 2 TFL, ½ sack
Head to Head:
Washington 4 – Boise State 3
Are any of these simulations a preview of what is to come on Saturday? We will find out in few days!
What do you think will be the outcome of the game? Go here and vote in our poll.