Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Did EA Deliver the Goods?

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 As always, there are some issues with this year's game, including some woefully out-of-date rosters that shipped on the disc and a big problem with the defensive pass-rush, or lack thereof.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!


Selahcoug said...

Yep, it was me, the same guy. I am really glad Kevin answered the question and it was good to hear about Turpin and Wulfgramm. I wonder if Luopo or anyone else is looking good as well. As we have seen the last few years, we need more than two DT or the season can go downhill fast due to injury.

Overall I have really liked Kevin Kooyman's diaries, they seem much more real than any of the others I have seen over the years, including the Kenny Alfred ones this year. All the others seem to be the same fluff all the time. Kevin's seem to be more realistic with more detail.

danesh imran said...

i don't know how much of a "real" coug i am since i'm in washington, dc and have never set foot in washington state, but am finishing up a distance degree from wsu this fall.

i’ve had every ncaa football game since 2002, and i got my copy of 2010 yesterday. i played stanford to kick off the season, and though the game was awesome, i ultimately lost 41-34 after the cardinal ran back a kick-off for 95 yards with 44 seconds left!

i just wanted to say i LOVE this blog, the cougs, and everything wsu (and after reading comments from condescending/arrogant dawg fans on various news sites and blogs, i equally HATE uw). keep up the good work and here’s to hoping for a great (or at least better) season. go cougs!

Sean Hawkins said...

Selah, good call. Kooyman's do seem a little more realistic. Our own Rooster met him last summer prior to jury duty and said he was just a great guy, so that's cool.

I wondered about Luopo too! Hopefully he's there and ready to go, they are going to need that girth inside.

And nice to see you danesh. You are welcome here.

TiltingRight said...


I loved your post!

Welcome to the Coug family.

You'll have to make a point, if at all possible, to head to Pullman for a football game sometime in your life. You'll be glad you did.

Maybe wait until our team is a little better, though....

CougStudent said...

I agree with Danesh's opinion of this blog. Every day when I get up i always check Cougfan, CougCenter, and the WSU Football Blog.

With that said, I am also a huge fan of the NCAA Football series and it's depressing to see us have such a low rating in the game. Not surprising, but depressing.

Hopefully the Cougs can crawl out of the triple digit ratings by the end of the year!

danesh imran said...

I’m really glad to be a part of the Coug family. there’s something to be said about being a REAL fan of a team. I grew up a lifelong Met fan and if anything, it taught me to have a tough stomach. my whole family has stuck it out with that team during the worst of times so when times were good again, it was all that more gratifying. I’d rather be associated with a university with the most underrated college football program over the last ten years than an institution that takes things for granted (for example EXPECTING $150 million of taxpayer dollars for stadium renovations). I may be na├»ve but there is definitely something special about this program and it will definitely bounce back, but even if it doesn’t I will continue to proudly represent for the Cougs!

I really wanted to make it out to Pullman for the season opener this year, but I’m taking my brother to the Oregon at Boise State game before he deploys to Iraq from Hill AFB in Utah (root against “Phil Knight U” while checking out the smurf turf…ideal vacation). I’m trying to convince the wife to head out to the Arizona game by tricking her into thinking it’s a “spa weekend” (being that AZ has so many resorts), but I already locked down the SMU and UCLA away games for next year.

Soze said...

Generally I'm one of the more pessimistic posters around here, and I see us in the cellar of the Pac-10 this year. But even with us going the way of 2008, I'm not giving up on CPW either. I don't think you can truly judge a coach's program for at least 4-5 years. If he can keep his players out of jail, I'm all for giving him 5 years to see if he can't figure this thing out.

(This was kind of a randomly placed rant, but I just wanted to remind Cougs that we really should give CPW more than 2 years to turn things around. WAZZU isn't Notre Dame, we don't need a new coach every 2 seasons.)

Sean Hawkins said...

I hear you Soze. And I realize our place in the NCAA football universe. Firing Wulff just two years in wouldn't be the answer to anything, unless there are circumstances that are so unbearable that it is the only way out, AND a rock-star is warming up in the bullpen to take over. But we can be pretty well assured neither of those things are going to happen.

I know this is "captain obvious" talking, but 2008 redux would be hard to stomach, and even harder to sell to the ticket-buying/donating masses. It was sad enough last year, but the apathy could get out of control if it's doors-blown-off again on a weekly basis.

I really don't think that will be the case though. I REALLY don't. We have seen the worst of the worst and under Wulff, we won't be going back. As everyone has been saying all along, I think we all expect improvement, but no miracles in the won/loss department. And then, in 2010, look for more improvement that can hopefully translate to more victories.

I saw an interesting little blurb in Athlon's. Mixed in with all the lamenting tones of the WSU preview, they had a "coaches take on WSU" where other coaches talk anonymously about the Cougs. One of the first couple of things said was "they will be better" and "Wulff did a good job at the end of the season, keeping those guys together after so many beatings". I like hearing stuff like that from opposing coaches. The further you get away from a situation, often times you get a more honest look at things, so it was good to read it.

Lucas said...

Welcome Danesh. I bet being a Mets fan is very similar to being a Cougar fan. Bigger brother on the other side of town, lots of money, etc...

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