NCAA ’13: Simulating the Oklahoma State football season
Close your eyes Cowboy fans, this isn’t going to be pretty.
NCAA ‘13 was released on Tuesday, prompting OU beat writer Jason Kersey and I to digitally simulate the season, closely following the results of both state teams.
And, as a way to maintain some semblance of drama, we’ll just say things didn’t go as planned for Oklahoma State in the gamer world.
Here’s a week-by-week breakdown of the Cowboys upcoming season, played out through EA Sports’ NCAA Football 13:
Quick disclaimer: This has zero correlation with what will happen this season. That’s clear to all of us. At times, the video game ranking system can be a joke. Wes Lunt is listed as the fourth stringer, Kye Staley has dreadlocks and Justin Gilbert (speed 89) is significantly slower than Brodrick Brown (speed 95), something Gilbert isn’t happy about. But this was just a way to have some fun during a dull portion of the sports calendar.
Game 1: #23 Oklahoma State 48 – Savannah State 14
Cowboys’ record: 1-0
Real Mike Gundy went with true freshman Wes Lunt, so Virtual Gundy did the same thing. Didn’t matter that Lunt (ranked 68) is fourth on the depth chart behind Clint Chelf (ranked 86), JW Walsh (ranked 74) and some other random quarterback EA just made up. Virtual Gundy showed confidence in his guy and it paid off in week one, with Lunt (378 yards, four touchdowns) leading OSU to an easy win over Savannah State or, as the game refers to them, the FCS Southeast Cobras.
Game 2: Arizona 20 – #22 Oklahoma State 3
Cowboys’s record: 1-1
Not exactly the kind of offensive output OSU has become known for the past two years. Lunt struggled to complete passes (15-37 for 108 yards) and the team struggled to move the ball. But at least Quinn Sharp thrust himself into the best punter discussion. Sharp boomed nine punts for an average of 49 yards.
Game 3: Louisiana-Lafayette 35 – Oklahoma State 16
Cowboys’ record: 1-2
That sound you hear? Oh, that’s just Virtual Todd Monken taking a bat to every non-living object inside the OSU locker room. The loss at Arizona is understandable. But Lafayette? At home? With your offense throwing for 98 total passing yards and going 2-14 on third downs? No, Virtual Monken not too pleased.
Game 4: #19 Texas 30 – Oklahoma State 24
Cowboys’ record: 1-3
Just three games into the season, as Big 12 play was about to start, Virtual Gundy pulled the plug on the Wes Lunt experiment. Going with JW Walsh against Texas, the Cowboy offense ran a little smoother. He only threw for 118 yards, but the rushing attack worked well, with Walsh scoring on a nine-yard run to put OSU up 24-20 in the fourth quarter. But Texas scored 10 unanswered and the Cowboys’ tough luck digital season continued.
Game 5: Oklahoma State 31 – Kansas 19
Cowboys’ record: 2-3
When everyone else is beating you up, it’s always nice to get a brief role reversal. For that, there’s no better victim than Virtual Charlie Weis and the Jayhawks. Justin Gilbert had two interceptions and the OSU running game got three touchdowns, two from Joseph Randle. But the passing attack remained terrible, with Walsh producing only 83 yards on six completions, one less than the number of times Virtual Monken bashed his head on the desk in the coaching box.
Game 6: Iowa State 28 – Oklahoma State 14
Cowboys’ record: 2-4
Leading 14-13 at halftime, the Cowboys looked poised to avenge last November’s unforgettable loss. But in the gamer world, redemption never came. Iowa State won the second half 15-0, shutting down the increasingly anemic OSU passing game (103 yards). After the game, Virtual Gundy yanked his second quarterback of the year, pulling the plug on the JW Walsh era and naming Clint Chelf his starter.
Game 7: #11 TCU 42 – Oklahoma State 37
Cowboys’ record: 2-5
Another disheartening home loss, making the Digital Pokes a brutal 1-4 at home. But at least in this one, the offense showed some spark, led by Clint Chelf (287 yards and two touchdowns). The defense, solid most of the season but missing Caleb Lavey to broken ribs, was torched by TCU.
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