Hurricanes Upcoming Season - What EA Sports and NCAA '13 Thinks Of Miami

Ryan Williams gets more playing time than he perhaps bargained for in the virtual season.

Trying to predict what will happen in any given NCAA football season is a crap shoot. Only once in a while can you really look at a team and be pretty confident about what will happen. Any Saturday can become "that" Saturday, whether it be a loss, a win, a big injury, or most recently, some form of NCAA intervention. There are a myriad of tools available to help predict what will happen, although the favorite always seems to be the latest college football video game.

For this post, I loaded up NCAA '13, the most recent offering in EA Sports' long line of games. I ignored the fancy new Heisman Legends mode, downloaded the most complete roster I could find, and simulated the Canes' 2012 season to see what the game thinks would happen. The results were...interesting. Hit the jump to get the nitty gritty.

First off, lets lay out the details. EA at times will not have complete rosters for their games. This is fairly expected, with recruiting issues, players getting kicked off/transferring, etc. In Miami's case, a few potentially contributing players were left off of the roster (or misplaced somewhere else.) For example, Tracy Howard, Tyriq McCord, Maurice Hagens, Ramon Buchanon, and Robert Lockhart were the most glaring omissions. They had a fullback that most likely wont get past the practice squad (technically a RB on the real life roster), Angelo Jean-Louis as part of the WR corps, and Duke Johnson rated as the lowest RB on the totem pole (while somewhat believable, you can't tell me he isn't a better running back than Dallas Crawford.) As far as AJL, I just changed his name to Robert Lockhart, and left the rest of him alone. I changed the listed fullback to Hagens, and left him alone as well. I did not bother to include McCord or Howard, because while they will likely contribute, for the game's purpose they would be rated just about the same as a few of the backups at their positions, and therefore would only play in the event of an injury. Besides, I wouldn't even know where to begin to rate their skills if I were to create and add them, since they haven't even practiced. Here is the depth chart that was used, which is as close to what it would be in real life as I could get it (starter at left, second and third string from left to right):

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QB - Morris, WIlliams, Dewey

RB - James, Clements, Crawford, Johnson

WR - Hurns, Scott, Dorsett

TE - Cleveland, Walford

LT - Bunche, Flowers

LG - Johnson, Isidora

C - McDermott, Wheeler

RG - Linder, Jones

RT - Henderson, Gadbois

LE - Green, Cain

RE - Chickillo, WIlliams

DT - Smith, Porter

LOLB - Gaines, Johnson

MLB - Perryman, Kirby

ROLB - Paul, Cornelius

CB - McGee, Gunter, Finnie

FS - Telemaque, Highsmith

SS - Ray Ray, Rodgers

KR/PR - Duke Johnson

KO/Punter - Wieclaw

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The game was set on it's default settings, with 5 minute quarters, injuries and fatigue on, and the weather neutral for every game. Home and away games were kept as is, and the only "glitch" in the schedule was the fact that Bethune-Cookman was reduced to FCS South, which in reality is basically true. I did not actually play any of these games, i simulated each week, and then recorded a few of the important stats from each game, along with the score. The results were pretty interesting, and while it's possible the actual season mirrors this, you wouldn't place a Vegas bet on it. Now, on to the results.

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Game 1 - @ Boston College - W 38-3

Morris - 12 of 28 for 135 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Clements - 20 rushes for 108 yards, 1 TD

M. James - 16 rushes for 64 yards, 1 TD

Hurns - 4 catches for 51 yards, 1 TD

Defense - 3 sacks, 2 interceptions (2 TDs), 2 fumbles recovered

Game 2 - @ KSU - L 24-17

Morris - 17 of 34 for 175 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT

M. James - 16 rushes for 54 yards

Dorsett/Scott - 1 TD each

Defense - 2 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 fumble recovery

Game 3 - Bethune-Cookman - W 63-17

Morris - 16 of 22 for 253 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 2 rush TDs

Clements - 22 rushes for 110 yards, 3 TDs

M. James - 17 rushes for 120 yards, 1 TD

Cleveland - 5 catches for 93 yards

Thompkins/Scott - 1 TD each

Defense - 7 sacks, 1 INT, 2 fumbles recovered

Game 4 - @ Georgia Tech - W 41-20

Morris - 16 of 28 for 251 yards, 4 TDs

M. James - 14 rushes for 71 yards, 1 TD

Hurns - 6 catches for 146 yards, 1 TD

Cleveland/Scott/Dorsett - 1 TD each

Defense - 2 sacks, 3 INTs, 1 fumble recovery

Game 5 - NC State - L 31-26

Morris - 20 of 37 for 283 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs

M. James - 19 rushes for 82 yards, 1 TD

Hurns - 10 catches for 171 yards

Dorsett - 1 TD

Defense - 4 sacks, 1 INT

Game 6 - @ Notre Dame - W 43-20 (technically a neutral site game, but NCAA '13 labels this as a ND home game)

Morris - 12 or 27 for 187 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 rush TD

M. James - 17 rushes for 79 yards, 1 TD

Cleveland - 5 catches for 58 yards

Dorsett - 1 TD

Defense - 2 sacks, 2 INTs (2 TDs), 1 fumble recovery

Game 7 - UNC - W 31-17

Morris - 19 of 40 for 343 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 1 rush TD

M. James - 14 rushes for 76 yards

Hurns - 5 catches for 139 yards, 2 TDs

Dorsett - 1 TD

Defense - 2 sacks

Game 8 - FSU - W 20-10

Morris 21 of 36 for 198 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT

M. James - 20 rushes for 93 yards

Hurns - 9 catches for 94 yards, 1 TD

Scott - 1 TD

Defense - 5 sacks, 1 INT

Game 9 - Virginia Tech - L 34-24 (First game after bye week)

Williams (Morris suffered a knee cartilage tear, out for season) - 14 of 32 for 164 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 rush TDs

Clements - 13 rushes for 83 yards

Scott - 2 catches for 51 yards, 1 TD

Defense - 3 sacks

Game 10 - @ Virginia - L 17-14

WIlliams - 14 of 27 for 97 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

M. James - 15 rushes for 71 yards

Hurns - 4 catches for 29 yards

Scott - 1 TD

Defense - 1 sack, 1 INT (Ray Ray TD), 1 fumble recovery

Game 11 - USF - W 34-14

Williams - 15 of 31 for 165 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT

Clements - 18 rushes for 115 yards, 1 TD

Hurns - 8 catches for 89 yards, 1 TD

Cleveland - 1 TD

Defense - 3 sacks, 2 INTs (1 Ray Ray TD), 1 fumble recovery

Game 12 - @ Duke - W 31-13

Williams - 15 of 31 for 222 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs

M. James - 18 rushes for 85 yards

Clements - 9 rushes for 46 yards, 1 TD

Hurns - 2 catches for 55 yards, 1 TD

Scott - 2 catches for 39 yards, 1 TD

Defense - 3 sacks, 3 INTs (1 Ray Ray TD)

Notable Individual Stats:

Morris - 133 for 252 for 1778 yards, 16 TDs, 9 INTs

Williams - 60 for 130 for 692 yards, 6 TDs, 6 INTs

M. James - 186 rushes for 593 yards, 4.8 average, 5 TDs, 3 fumbles

Clements - 152 rushes for 817 yards, 5.3 average, 6 TDs, 2 fumbles

Hurns - 67 catches for 1015 yards, 15.1 average, 7 TDs

Cleveland - 50 catches for 489 yards, 9.7 average, 2 TDs

Porter/Smith/Chickillo - 5.5 sacks each

Finnie/Ray Ray/McGee - 3 INTs each

Ray Ray - 3 TDs

McGee - 2 TDs

Notable Team Stats:

38 sacks

9 fumbles recovered

18 INTs

+5 turnover ratio

81 penalties for 637 yards (best in the ACC)

8 defensive TDs

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So there you have it. The Canes finished 8-4, 5-3 in the conference, and ranked 25th in the country. The game actually had Miami paired up with Florida in the Music City Bowl (which the Canes won, 21-20.) As far as the team itself, a few things jump out right away. The biggest of which is that Hurns apparently is capable of stepping up to be the go-to receiver for the team. The tight ends do play much more of a role in the offense, with Cleveland getting 50 receptions by himself. The defense is a beast, with Ray Ray getting a pick 6 in each of the last three games. The sack total is massive, but most likely a bit low on the individual side, as i highly doubt that Chickillo will only get 5.5 sacks. The running game is pretty evenly split between James and Clements, with Duke not playing hardly any role at all. One of the glaring issues, however, is the interception total by the quarterbacks. There was only one game where no interceptions were thrown, against GT. Every other game featured at least 1 giveaway, although in most of them it was overcome. All in all it feels like NCAA got most things pretty well spot on as far as performance goes. The record may be a bit of a stretch, as beating FSU and Notre Dame are hard to envision.

If the real life season turns out anything like the virtual one, Canes fans will have more than enough to label it a resounding success, given the team's youth and inexperience. A winning record, beating FSU, and bowl eligibility is good for any team. The bowl thing won't factor in most likely, as Miami is in all likelihood going to forfeit again if they are indeed eligible.

A few grains of salt to consider when looking over these results, the game has Notre Dame at 4-0 before playing the Canes, which means they will have beaten Navy in Ireland, Purdue at home, Michigan State at their house, and Michigan at home. This, frankly, is unlikely. Oh, and if you were wondering how the title game turned out, Nevada beat LSU to cap off an undefeated season (yes....Nevada.)

GO CANES!

This post was sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 13. Check out the video for the game below.

EA SPORTS NCAA Football 13 TV: "Son" (via EASPORTS)

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