What if we could write a recap for a game before it even happened?
Well, that’s just what we intend to do starting this week, thanks to NCAA Football 14. Starting this week, we’ll choose one game a week from the MAC schedule to highlight and run a completely human-free simulation to determine how the game will (approximately) go.
How is this possible? Well, thanks to the good folks at OperationSports, we were able to upload updated rosters for NCAA 14. Each roster holds at least the top to starters for every position on the roster and has weekly-updated depth charts, so it will be very easy to simulate as close as we can to real life.
(Aside: we had hoped to start this up Week 1, but the rosters were imperfect hybrids of 2016 and 2017 rosters. Week 2 saw some technical glitches.)
Here’s how we’ll set up every game: we’ll update the depth charts and simulate the expected conditions (this week, it’s expected to be 75 and clear at kickoff for Toledo vs. Tulsa.) The game will then be ran at Heisman difficulty, which creates the biggest differences in positional matchups.
The games themselves are played on a PlayStation3.
At that point, we’ll let go of the controls and let the CPU duke it out, picking it up again only to grab video and photo highlights for the article.
Without further ado: WE PREDICT THE FUTURE!
The Toledo Rockets found themselves swept up in the Golden Hurricane of Tulsa, surrendering 88 points in a blowout loss at the Glass Bowl.
The game was wild from the start, with 21 combined points in the first four minutes of action. The Rockets managed to pull closer at the end of the first quarter, picking up 13 unanswered points to tie the game as the second quarter began.
The Rockets continued to apply pressure to the Hurricane early in the second quarter, keeping the score at 31-31 until the 4:22 mark, when Tulsa would go on to score 13 unanswered points themselves, while only allowing Toledo 10 points.
This ultimately proved to be a key difference, as Toledo could only muster 19 second-half points compared to Tulsa’s 44 to bring the final score to 88-50.
The Golden Hurricane finished with 988 total yards of offense and rolled off 127 plays on the hapless Rockets defense, rushing for 451 yards and passing for 537 more under the lead of quarterback Chad President, who completed 40 of his 53 passes, including four touchdowns and three interceptions. President also accounted for 41 carries and 221 yards rushing, scoring once.
Logan Woodside was lost to a torn rotator cuff in the first quarter, while Toledo was down 21-7, meaning Michael Julian was brought on in relief. Julian performed admirably, but alas, it wasn’t enough to keep back the torrential onslaught of points Tulsa posted.
Julian, a redshirt senior, finished 52-of-80 passing for 486 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in relief of Woodside, who surrendered two interceptions on back-to-back possessions to start the game prior to his injury. Julian also finished with 53 yards rushing and two touchdowns, good enough to finish second in rushing.
Toledo did manage to finish with 823 yards of offense on 121 plays (60 passes, 61 rushes), gaining 538 yards through the air and 285 on the ground. The Rockets found more success scoring-wise toting the rock, as they scored four combined touchdowns. Art Thompkins (14 rush, 77 yards, two touchdowns) and Terry Swanson (27 rush, 115 yards) lead the charge.
Twelve different receivers caught passes for both squads, with Tulsa’s Josh Stewart leading all receivers in yards (107) and Toledo’s Drew Rosi leading in receptions (12.) Tulsa’s Justin Hobbs was the game leader in receiving touchdowns scored with two, totaling four receptions for 84 yards. Toledo’s Danzel McKinley-Lewis (5 rec., 72 yards) had the dubious mark of most drops, with five.
On defense, Josh Teachy (19 tackles, 18 solo, 1 quarterback hurry) led all defensive layers and Toledo in tackles, while Tulsa’s Cooper Edminston (17 tackles, all solo, two tackles for loss, three interceptions) led Tulsa in tackles and the game in interceptions, forcing three of Toledo’s five turnovers.
Nate Childress and Daniel Davis (Toledo) and Jimmy Nelson (Tulsa) led the game with two sacks apiece.
Here are the final stats in picture form: