Maybe some of you are video game wonks, and have already simmed this week (nerd). But whatever. We thought it might be fun to get a sneak peak of tomorrow's game via the XBox 360 and see what happens.
All the depth charts were updated for this week's game, with key injuries and such taken into consideration. The sim was simply that, a feature in EA Sports' football games where you have the CPU play the CPU and see how it all shakes out. I know, it's pretty much worthless, and the game has some issues, but it's something a little different anyway.
The game was played at Martin Stadium, a 3:30 PM kickoff under sunny skies and 75 degrees. Here's the results.
First Quarter: Cal would take a 7-0 lead on a short 2-yard TD pass from Kevin Riley to Nyan Boateng. Cal was in complete control early, racking up an amazing 178 total yards in the first quarter alone. Javhid Best did his part as well, with 35 yards on seven first-quarter carries. This was looking like Boateng's break-out game at Cal, with six catches for 77 yards in the first quarter alone. Meanwhile WSU struggled, with Gary Rogers at 4-for-10 for 31 yards and an INT.
Second Quarter: Cal would continue to do what it wanted to, scoring on a 7-yard TD pass from Kevin Riley to Michael Calvin for a 14-0 lead just 1 minute into the second quarter. But WSU would respond, forcing a turnover as Riley was sacked by a blitzing Chima Nwachukwu who stripped Riley of the football deep in Cal territory. A few plays later, Gary Rogers found Brandon Gibson on a 14-yard TD pass, cutting the lead to seven. It would get even better for WSU, after forcing a Cal punt. On 3rd and short deep in their own territory, Rogers would hit Benny Ward deep down the sideline for a 77-yard TD pass, and suddenly the game was tied. But Cal had a long KO return after the score, and after a mix of Jahvid Best runs and short passes by Kevin Riley, Best capped the eight-play drive by running for a TD from four yards out.
Halftime: Cal 21, WSU 14.
Total offense: Cal 367, WSU 185
Rushing yards: Cal 124, WSU 36.
Cal's Kevin Riley: 18-for-26 for 243 yards and 2 TD's.
WSU's Gary Rogers: 9-for-17 for 149 yards and 2 TD's, 1 INT.
Defense: Cal's Syd'Quan Thompson with 1 INT for 17 return yards. WSU's Matt Eichelberger with two first-half sacks.
3rd down conversions: Cal 4 for 10, WSU 2 for 8.
Both teams with 1 turnover.
WSU would take the kickoff and march into the red zone, but the drive would stall on an incompletion on 3rd down. WSU would kick a field goal, 21-17 Cal. But Cal would respond, driving right down the field with ease as Kevin Riley got hot, completing four of five on the drive, capping it off with a 23-yard TD pass to J. Ross, 28-17 Cal. After both teams exchanged punts on their next possessions, it went from bad to worse for WSU, as Syd'Quan Thompson would intercept a Rogers pass deep in WSU territory. Cal would settle for a field goal, but suddenly it's 31-17. WSU would then go 3-and-out on the next possession, and Riley would strike again, hitting LaReylle Cunningham deep for a 54-yard TD pass. The flood gates are officially open, as Cal ends the quarter with a 38-17 lead.
Both teams would sputter on offense, as Cal kept it conservative while WSU just couldn't get the ball into the endzone. Cal would add a field goal with four minutes to go, and that's it. 41-17, Cal.
Total Yards: Cal 585, WSU 319
Kevin Riley - 26-for-41 for 343 yards, 4 TD's, 2 INT's.
Nate Longshore - 1-for-4, 6 yards.
Jahvid Best: 27 carries, 178 yards, 1 TD.
Kevin Riley: 4 carries, 9 yards.
Shane Vereen: 8 carries, 45 yards.
Nyan Boateng - 7 catches, 97 yards, 1 TD. 13.8 per catch.
LaReyelle Cunningham - 9 catches, 169 yards, 1 TD.
Cameron Morrah - 4 catches, 65 yards.
Jeremy Ross - 2 catches, 35 yards, 17.5 per catch, 1 TD.
Jahvid Best - 2 catches, 12 yards.
Michael Calvin - 1 catch, 7 yards, 1 TD.
Anthony Felder - 7 tackles, 1 for loss.
Zack Follett - 4 tackles, 1 forced fumble
Worrell Williams - 3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss.
Derrick Hill - 5 tackles, 3 for loss, including 2 sacks.
Syd'Quan Thompson - 1 tackle, 2 INT's for 17 yards.
Gary Rogers - 17 for 40, 212 yards, 2 TD's, 2 INT's. 42% completions.
Dwight Tardy - 12 carries, 45 yards, 3.7 yards per carry.
Chris Ivory - 13 carries, 24 yards.
Gary Rogers - 7 carries, 20 yards
Benny Ward - 1 catch, 77 yards, 1 TD.
Brandon Gibson - 5 catches, 62 yards, 1 TD.
Devin Frischnecht - 4 catches, 37 yards.
Chris Ivory - 2 catches, 16 yards.
Dwight Tardy: 3 catches, 17 yards
Andy Mattingly - 9 tackles, 1 for loss including 1 sack.
Matt Eichelberger - 9 tackles, 2 for loss including 2 sacks.
A'i Ahmu - 7 tackles, 1 sack and an INT off a deflected pass.
Romeo Pellum - 6 tackles, 1 INT.
Chima Nwachukwu - 5 tackles, forced fumble.
So there you have it. EA sees a tight game for a half and into the third quarter, then Cal will explode. We'll find out tomorrow!
Some quick links floating around:
A'i Ahmu has been suspended for the first half tomorrow after failing to show for a court date. The team unity council decided with the coaching staff on what to do. No doubt, this hurts. Cal's running game is going to be a headache anyway, but to have your thinnest position, the defensive interior, weakened even further than it already is against this kind of offensive attack? Yikes.
In the good-news injury department, it appears both Vaughn Lesuma at tackle and Reid Forrest at punter will return to action this Saturday. Lesuma, obviously, is a key returner up front after the injury to Andrew Roxas has caused more O-line shuffling. Steven Ayers will slide back inside to account for the loss of Roxas, so, Lesuma's return is perfect timing. Outside of center Kenny Alfred, Lesuma might be the best offensive lineman we have. And Forrest is a welcome sight for some sore special-teams eyes right about now.
In the same article, the kicking job won't be decided until warm-ups. Wade Penner missed an extra point last week, and will be competing now with Nico Grasu and Patrick Rooney.
Enjoy your Friday, and always....GO COUGS.