Bulldog fans, after a week off, it's time for another edition of EA Sports NCAA Football '13 simulation. We're now a third of the way through the schedule and so far the simulation has only missed once.
This week the Bulldogs will take on the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium. The Wildcats put up a good fight against the South Carolina Gamecocks next week and suddenly this game doesn't seem as much of a sure thing as it did earlier in the season.
Kentucky will be without their starting quarterback for this game due to injury. Joker Phillips has already said that he plans on using both quarterbacks for the game. This created a quandary for me regarding the simulation. Since I was unsure on who to use, I won't use a particular quarterback's name during the play by play.
This was another thrilling game that was decided in the last few seconds. A key Bulldog player on offense was lost to injury midway through the game. Oh no! Let's find out who it was.
Mississippi State is the visiting team and chooses heads on the coin toss. Heads it is and the
Bulldogs decide to kick the ball off to begin the game.
The Kentucky qb throws a pass on first down and picks up 8 yards. Another slant pass on second down picks up another 6 yards and a first down. The Wildcats try a run on first down for a three yard gain...a pass on second down is nearly picked off by Jonathon Banks. On third down the qb goes for a homerun...the pass is way down the field and again is nearly picked off! Kentucky punts the ball away.
MSU will begin their drive at the 28 yard line. Tyler Russell pitches the ball to LaDarius Perkins on first down and the back picks up five yards. A quick pass to Chad Bumphis is completed on second down and is just enough to earn a fresh set of downs. Tyler can't find anyone to throw to on first down and is on the verge of being sacked. With blue jerseys swarming all around him, Russell tucks the ball and runs but only gets a yard on the play. On second down once again Russell is having trouble finding someone to throw to...he throws the ball away to avoid a sack. On third down Russell finally finds an open receiver...it's Perkins. LaDarius Perkins is brought down inches away from a first down. MSU is forced to punt the ball away--no, its a fake! The pass from Baker Swedenburg is complete to LaDarius Perkins for a first down! Perkins takes the ball again on first down and gets seven yards. On second down Tyler Russell finds a wide open Chad Bumphis...he completes the pass for a first down! MSU is now at the UK 22 yard line. Another rushing attempt by Perkins results in a three yard loss on first down. Russell tucks it and runs on second down and gets a few yards back. It's now third and eight. Russell drops back to pass on third down...he's looking toward the right side of the field and launches a pass toward the end zone. The pass is nearly picked off but fortunately falls incomplete instead. MSU tries a field goal and is successful.
MSU on top early 3-0
Kentucky returns the kickoff to the 25 yard line to begin the next drive. The Wildcats keep the ball on the ground for the first down and a run up the middle earns a first down. UK at their own 35. The quarterback scrambles for four yards on the next play...its' now 2nd and six. The quarterback drops back to pass...he's looking every which way but can't find anyone open. He throws the ball away. It's now third and six. Once again the qb goes to the air, he releases a pass but the receiver is clobbered just as the ball reaches him. The ball falls incomplete thanks to a hard charging Corey Broomfield. UK punts the ball away.
Jameon Lewis returns the ball to the MSU 24 yard line. Tyler Russell hands the ball off to Perkins and he gets a big gain...nearly at midfield now. Perkins gets another shot on the fresh set of downs but this time only gains three. Tyler Russell drops back to pass on second down...he throws into a barrage of blue jerseys and by the grace of god the pass falls incomplete. There's a flag on the play...holding MSU. The Bulldogs are now backed up into a 2nd and 17 situation. Russell drops back to pass with only eight seconds left in the quarter. He flings the ball to Jameon Lewis and he earns a first down. Lewis is chased out of bounds with four seconds left in the quarter. On first down Russell hands the ball off to Perkins again and the back picks up another first down as the quarter expires.
Bulldogs lead 3-0
Bulldogs on the UK 34 yard line. Perkins takes a hand off on first down and only gets three yards. Russell fakes a hand off on second down and only manages to pick up another yard. Russell lobs a pass up toward midfield. Ricco Sanders jumps up and grabs the ball. He's tackled immediately but its enough for a first down. On first down Russell can't find anyone open and has to throw the ball away. Russell drops back for another pass on second down and once again he can't find a soul open anywhere. He finally gives up looking and uses the good protection to tuck it and run. He picks up a first down and more! Russell is brought down at the two yard line...its first and goal for the Bulldogs. Russell brought down for a big loss on first down and now he's hurt! Russell is holding his arm and is taken from the game. Dak Prescott trots on to the field and takes over on second down. Prescott drops back to pass and finds an open Ricco Sanders. Sanders hauls the pass in for six points! Extra point is good and the Bulldogs now lead it 10-0.
Kentucky returns the kick off to the 25 yard line to begin their next drive. Their qb throws a quick pass and picks up just enough for a first down. They keep it on the ground on the next play and pick up three yards. Another running play, another first down. **Erin Andrews just broke the news that Tyler Russell has some sort of injury to his elbow and is now out for the game :( ** A run by the half back on first down results in a three yard loss. They hand the ball off to the back again and he loses another yard. It's now third and 14. The quarterback drops back for a pass on third and long and launches a rocket deep to midfield...it's caught! Senior receiver Gene McCaskill brings it down at the MSU fifteen yard line. UK calls a time out...nearing half time. The Wildcats elect to pass on first down and pick up four yards. The quarterback decides to hand the ball off to Dyshawn Mobley on second down and the back loses two on the play. It's now third down and eight. The quarterback drops back to pass but is gobbled up by the Bulldog defense...sack! It's now 4th and 19. UK settles for a field goal.
MSU still leads 10-3
After the kick off the Bulldogs have only 32 seconds to get some more points before the half. They still have all their time outs. Prescott goes to the air on first down but the pass is batted away. Prescott is sacked for a loss on second down...MSU takes a time out. Prescott hands the ball off to Perkins and the back loses more yards. MSU punts the ball away.
UK takes over at their own 45 yard line. They have no time outs left and only ten seconds on the clock. The quarterback drops back for a pass and throws a bomb way down the field...it's caught! The Wildcats scramble to the line and manage to spike the ball in time to leave one second on the clock. They line up for a field goal and tack on three more points to get within four!
Tight game going into half time 10-6 Bulldogs
MSU gets the ball to start the second half. Banks is returning the kick off and is tackled hard at their own 27. Dak Prescott returns to the field and hands the ball off to Perkins. Perkins plows through the defenders for an eight yard gain. Prescott goes to the air on second down and hits Jameon Lewis for a first down. Perkins brought down for a loss on the next play. On 2nd and 12 Perkins takes another hand off and once again is stopped in the back field. Dak Prescott drops back to pass on third down. Immediately he's got blue jerseys in his face and he's sacked! MSU punts the ball away.
UK returns the kick off to the 38 yard line. The Kentucky quarterback completes a pass and the receiver sprints down the side line...he's finally brought down at the MSU 19. A hand off to the running back on first down sees the Bulldogs bring him down for a loss. The quarterback can't find anyone open on second down and throws the ball away. On third down down the quarterback again can't find anyone open...he holds the ball too long and is sacked! The Wildcats settle for another field goal and the Bulldogs are now clinging to a 10-9 lead.
Jameon Lewis returns the kick off to the 23 yard line to begin the next drive. Dak Prescott has really got to get things going on this drive or the Bulldogs are in big trouble. Prescott tries an option play to Perkins...it works and the Bulldogs pick up a first. A nice pass to midfield picks up just enough for another first down! Prescott again goes to the air on first down and finds a wide open Brandon Holloway. Holloway has open field in front of him and picks up another ten yards before finally being brought down at the UK 38 yard line. Prescott stays with whats working...another quick pass to Perkins picks up just enough for another first down. Prescott drops back for another pass...he never had a prayer...UK sacks him immediately for a five yard loss. Prescott keeps it himself and runs on second down and gets a big gain...its now third and six. A hand off to Perkins comes up just a yard short. With only a one point lead, the Bulldogs decide to go for it on fourth down! For the first time in the game, the ball is handed to Derrick Milton. Milton picks up enough for a first down and even gains a few extra yards on the run! MSU now at the UK 13. Prescott can't find anyone open on first down...he's got a pass rush coming at him and he wisely throws the ball away to avoid the sack. A botched running play loses three yards on the next play. Another handoff to Milton...Milton pounds the ball through the middle and stumbles into the end zone! Bulldogs now lead 17-9!
Kentucky begins their next drive at the 25. A hand off on first down results in a loss of a yard. The quarterback for Kentucky drops back to pass on second down and he finds an open receiver! First down Wildcats. The third quarter expires and Bulldogs still lead 17-9.
Kentucky tries their luck on the ground again and gain five yards. A quick pass picks up four more yards. It's now third and one. The quarterback looks way down field on third down...he locks onto a receiver and throws a missile his way. The receiver reaches for the ball and just as it reaches his fingers he's leveled by an MSU defender. Incomplete pass. Kentucky is on their own 48 yard line...its 4th and one and they are going for it! A hand off to the running back...the back finds a huge hole and easily gets a first down. A pass on first down gets another first down. Kentucky now at the MSU 29. The quarterback's next throw is nearly picked off. On second and ten the Wildcats try a run and lose yard. It's third and eleven. The quarterback completes another pass but its a few yards short of the first down. Its fourth and five and once again the Wildcats are going for it. The quarterback finds an open receiver and fires a bullet straight at him...he practically hits the receiver in the numbers but fortunately he can't hold on to the ball. Turnover on downs! MSU's ball.
Bulldogs wisely start trying to work the clock. They keep it on the ground on first down but only pick up two. They pick up a few more yards on second down and Kentucky burns a time out. It's third and three. Prescott finds an open Jameon Lewis on third down but Lewis drops the pass. MSU forced to punt.
The quarterback is sacked on the first play on Kentucky's next drive for a three yard loss. He gets five of those yards back on second down by completing a short pass. On third down the quarterback throws deep down the field again and finds a man open. There are no Bulldog defenders around to stop him...he strolls into the end zone. The score is now 17-15 MSU. As expected, UK goes for 2 points. They try a pass...and its caught in the end zone. The ball game is now tied 17-17.
Bulldogs have all their time outs and just over a minute left. Prescott finds Jameon Lewis open again but the pass goes incomplete...this time the blame goes to Prescott for a bad throw. A pass to LaDarius Perkins on second down gets seven yards. It's now third and three. Again, Prescott hits Perkins through the air...they pick up enough for a first down. And again, Prescott throws to Perkins...#27 picks up four yards on the play. Prescott drops back for another pass...UK is coming after him...he gets the ball off in time and hits, you guessed it, LaDarius Perkins. Perkins has some open field ahead of him, he runs up the side line and is finally brought down at the UK 34. New set of downs. Less than a minute left in the game and MSU has one time out left. Prescott fires an incomplete pass on first down. A hand off to Perkins gets seven more yards...they gotta hurry, the clock is under thirty seconds now. Prescott hands it to Milton on third down...Milton rumbles ahead and gets enough for a first down. 18 seconds left on the clock! Prescott throws an incomplete pass on first down...12 seconds left. A pass to Chad Bumphis near the side line is caught...but out of bounds. MSU is forced to try a field goal now from the UK 23 yard line. The kick is good! There is a flag on the play, but its offsides on Kentucky! Bulldogs now lead it 20-17.
UK will get the ball back with 4 seconds left and one time out. No miracle is going to occur for Kentucky today...ball game is over.
Bulldogs win it 20-17!
A few stats below if you care...or feel like squinting to read them....