I know, more video game "dorkus-melorkus" alerts. But yesterday is a bit of a landmark day around the country for NCAA fans, as EA Sports shipped out the latest incarnation of their college football experience. And lo and behold, the game was sitting on the doorstep when I got home from work last night. Cool.
As a Coug fan, what else could I do but pop it in the X-Box 360 and give it a go with WSU? So I immediately went in and chose Stanford at WSU, the Cougs' season opener this year.
First off, as you can see, they more or less missed on some key spots of Martin Stadium. Namely the renovation, yeah, it didn't make it. No new stadium entrance sign, no new facilities along Stadium Way, no new scoreboard, no new CUB addition. Basically nothing new whatsoever from last year. And hey, the big white banner is back! Wasn't that ripped off in, like, 2005?? For whatever reason, the stadium is a version from a couple of years ago.
That said, I'm not too nit-picky. It's still nice to look at, and they did a good job. The overall experience did feel like you were watching a game in Pullman. The lighting in the game with the sun and clouds and shadows is really dynamic. But maybe next year for little 'ol Martin Stadium?
The game itself is alright. It's not the greatest game ever, but it's still entertaining. They introduced new camera angles this year so you can see more of the field, so that's cool. There are some new animations with catching and throwing. I even had some plays in the rain where wide receivers slipped running routes. My QB even slipped as he was going back to pass, and had to put his hand down to avoid falling to the ground.
I know uniforms are always a good topic, and this year EA lets you mix-n-match. This should stop the bitching from the fans who complain that they "didn't get the fourth alternate version of our road uni's in the game! LAZY EA PROGRAMMERS!" Now, I'm not as hardcore as some others out there, who spend hours ripping EA Sports for not giving teams their correct shoe-and-sock combination. I just like to pick up and play the thing, that's all.
It's not all good however. As always, there are some issues with this year's game, including some woefully out-of-date rosters that shipped on the disc and a big problem with the defensive pass-rush, or lack thereof. But I haven't spent any time with it to really know. I do know that my Coug offensive line had a hell of a time trying to block Stanford, and both Kevin Lopina and Marshall Lobbestael took some wicked-hard shots from their defensive line. Pass rush seemed fine to me!
Erin Andrews is in the game this year! Suh-weet! She hosts some game mode called "Road to Glory".....uh, yeah.
She also pops up in-game for her ever-informational sideline reports, such as player injuries.
Works for me.
Oh, and yep, the Cougs are pretty much awful in the game. EA rates them I think around 111 in the country or some God-awful rating like that? Yeesh. Oh, I did have one cool play, a long kickoff return that nearly went for six. Check out the video highlight after the jump....
He could...go...all...the....nope, didn't make it. Of course, the offense would stall and I was forced to kick a field goal. And what are the cheerleaders looking at?? We know you are all about entertaining the crowd, but TURN AROUND! The game is RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!
Finally, we'll use NCAA 10 to simulate the upcoming season. Each week we'll have the Cougs square off against their opponent, and we'll report back on the results, including photos and video. Sound good?
Moving on, Grippi at the Spokesman dragged out the screen and slide projector to share his summer vacation with the Cougar Nation. Pretty cool experiences overall. I missed the part where he says he saw Transformers and Star Trek about 100 times, but that's for him to tell?
There's another new diary at Cougfan, this time by senior defensive end Kevin Kooyman. It's a pretty good read, detailing the hard work in the weight room and some highlights in skeleton drills.
But he also took questions from the masses, including this one:
Response to SelahCoug: The d-tackles are looking very good. I think we're going to see a lot from Toby Turpin, who is nearly 300 pounds now, and Bernard Wolfgramm, who is coming back strong after his injury. We are going to have good size and speed across the entire d-line this year. We fully expect a dramatic change in how the d-line plays this year.
SelahCoug? We've got a SelahCoug who posts here. HAS to be the same guy?? But seriously, I like the sound of the d-tackles looking good. You can feel that Toby Turpin could have a real breakthrough season, but I really like hearing Bernard Wolfgramm is coming back strong after his injuries. There may not be a more important position on the field that needed improvement than the defensive front, and any tidbit of good news is GOLD BABY, GOLD!
Teddy "Football" Miller weighed in on his "Don't Be Surprised..." series with WSU. And his quote in bold pretty much says it all:
Don't be surprised if ...Washington State athletic director Jim Sterk, no matter what happens this season, remains optimistic that coach Paul Wulff is going to turn things around.
The only thing we could argue there is that IF it's more of 66-3-type performances? Even Sterk will let some air out of the Wulff balloon. Would anyone remain optimistic no matter what happens this season? We're understanding of the situation and trying to be patient, but optimism will wane big-time if it's 2008 all over again.
That's it for a Wednesday. Enjoy it, and as always, FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FOR WASHINGTON STATE!