Monday, May 03, 2004

Bragging Time

So I was looking at my GameCube a few days ago, and decided that something was missing. That something was a football game. I already had Madden for the N64, but what I wanted was a college-level game. Thus, I picked up a used copy of NCAA Football 2003 for under $10 a few days ago.

It's become my new addiction. I created my own school (Virginia Anglican, home of the Bishops) and started a dynasty. I got stomped by the visiting Utah in my first game, depressing me, as I saw that my next game was on the road at #9 Nebraska. The one thing I knew, though, was that Nebraska likes to run. I pretty quickly realized that they would run on the first two downs, then go long on third, and so I managed to contain them. After a few field goals, I somehow managed to get a touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Final score: 13-0, Virginia Anglican. Next, I hosted 1AA Northwest at Cathedra, my stadium (I'm a dork). We'll get to the subject of my pass defense in a second, but suffice it to say that I was happy to come out with a 7-0 victory.

I'm currently in the middle of the gauntlet, having played at Iowa, at Boise State, and hosting BYU. Iowa was tough, with several miracle drives on both our parts and an astounding lack of pass defense. Time ran out with the score 28-28, prompting overtime. On a pair of fourth-and-long completions followed by a short run, I managed to sneak in. Then, another miracle: my porous pass defense managed to pick off an Iowa pass, ending the game. After that, I trudged to the immensely-disliked Boise State. Why do I dislike BSU so much? Please tell me: is there anything cheaper in all of football than blue uniforms on a blue field? I thought not. In any case, BSU also seemed to consistently manage to catch balls that were thrown off-balance by the QB when the receiver was in double, triple, or even quadruple coverage. They also have an annoying habit of going for it on fourth down, even when they need five yards (they usually make it). In the practice games I played, they would keep things even, finally scoring on a miracle drive at the end. During one game, I forced them to settle for a field goal (or so I thought). Little did I know that my outstanding returner would pick this one time to muff the kick, setting up another Boise State touchdown. I felt pretty hosed after that game, and was determined to whup the heck out of them in the actual game. After a fruitless first half on both sides, it dawned on me that blitzing all the time was actually a good strategy, as they kept throwing either far downfield or into the flat. I recorded several sacks, and set myself up for two touchdowns, which I capped with a field goal in the final seconds. Pumped, I immediately decided to take on BYU without any practicing.

It started out okay: I held them to only a field goal when they realistically could've had a touchdown. I then drove up the field to about the three-yard-line. Well, the obvious thing to do was to hand the ball off to my bruising fullback and let him power in for the TD. No, instead, he decides to fumble (for the first time) inches before the goal line, resulting in a turnover. My D managed to hold them and force a punt, which I eventually drove back to set up a tying FG right before the half. Coming out, I received the kick and drove, once again, to the three. No longer trusting my FB in clutch situations, I handed it off to my back-up running back (outstanding RB Peter Akinola being out for eight weeks with a rib injury). He ran through the BYU line...and fumbled inches before the goal line. I was a little upset about this, but then, when I thought things couldn't get any more frustrating, my defense goes and totally redeems itself with a safety (resulting in the incongruous score of 5-3)! I managed to hold them, and finally complete a series of long passes for another TD to end the game 12-3, with an overall record of 5-1. Next up is New Mexico, with later games against New Mexico State (either NM or NMSU is good; I can't remember which), Troy State, Middle Tennessee State, and UL-Monroe. There's a pretty decent chance that I'll finish 11-1, though against a fairly weak schedule.

Virginia Anglican is a "middle-of-the-road" school, meaning that all my talent values start out at about average, and my fan base is fairly weak. So far, I've doubled fan attendance and TV viewership. I'm currently #2 among Independents (behind Notre Dame), and #13 in overall record. I'm not ranked, and don't expect to be unless I can win a bowl game and be 12-1 for the season. As for my pass defense...it's not good. I'm not sure where it's ranked among NCAA teams, but #94 rings a bell. However...my run defense is #1 in the NCAA. I held Nebraska to two yards. Nebraska. My defense is currently #5 overall, which is a darn good thing because I'm dead last in offensive yards, averaging about 215 per game (I managed to lower my average slightly in the win over BYU). Basically, no one runs against me, and their passes, to be successful, have to go long. My opponent will typically rack up around 200+ yards of passing, but stall out just out of FG range. My own offense tends to involve a lot of running and a few passes. The runs, usually, don't do much, though I tend to break a few 10-yarders. Just as often as the first down runs, though, are the sacks, which limits my total running yardage. However, I seem to have an excellent talent for stringing together third-and-long completions to my tight end and #2 wide receiver (my current running back and most productive receiver are both white, while the quarterback is black, which is a little uncommon), typically resulting in about two scores per game.

HokiePundit: Tenacious D

UPDATE: I beat New Mexico 27-17. Still no calls from the Top 25 polls, though...
FURTHER UPDATE: After a 42-7 thrashing of UL-Monroe, the 7-1 Virginia Anglican Bishops are now consensus #25 in the nation. Memo to NMSU: ph34r m3

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