I have played NCAA Football since its beginnings on the original PlayStation, but I have never seen anything like this before. Today I started playing the various rivalry games in order to get a better feel for the game, and to experience some teams that I do not normally use on a year-to-year basis. Tonight I decided to play Air Force (me) vs. Army, and I just got walloped; I mean really, really, castrated: 72-45.
There is a lot to say about this game, but first let me start with the score. I do not think the CPU has ever put up that many points on me; ever. Seriously, 72 is a hell of a lot of points, and the CPU kicked a 57-yard field goal with 11 seconds left just to rub salt in my wounds. Pretty nasty stuff.
For what it is worth, I was playing on the default settings (with 6-minute quarters). I have written about this before, but I always start out on the default settings and adjust from there as needed. If I am in the mood, in a future post, I will once again recap why I take this approach, if anyone is really interested.
One thing I have noticed about the 2007 iteration of this football classic is that the momentum feature can be brutal. This game is a case in point. Even though I was the home team, once the CPU took the lead (28-24), I never had a chance. The CPU WRs caught everything thrown their way, while my guys started fumbling left and right. At times it really seemed unfair, but while I do think this game was fairly typical of momentum getting out of control, I am going to try to reserve judgment until I get in a few more games.
I am not sure if Air Force’s defense is really awful, or if Army’s offense is awesome, or if I really suck, but I just could not stop the Black Knights. In fact, Army scored every single time they got the ball. Their starting QB (#14) was 19-24, 486 yds, 7 TDs (0 INT), good for a 79% completion ratio, which is a vast improvement over anything I saw in the last two versions of the game. Army’s backup QB (#15) was just as lethal: 7-9, 115 yds, 2 TDs (0 INT), good for a 77% completion ratio. My starting QB (#5) would have been great under any other circumstances, going 13-24, 299 yds, 3 TDs (2 INTs), and 150 rushing yards, including 1 TD.
Besides the fact that I sucked on defense, I just could not keep possession of the ball: 2 INTs and 2 lost fumbles (5 total fumbles). This was the first game where I did not get sacked left and right; I was only sacked once. Time of possession was in my favor 13:11 to 10:49, and I accumulated more total yards: 943-791.
On a positive note, I did return a kickoff for a TD, which has been a pretty rare occurrence for me the last couple of years. All in all, this was a not so fun game because it was just so damn unrealistic. Seriously, I may not be the best player in the world, but I have never given up 72 points, and I seriously doubt anything like this would happen in real life. I guess I am going to have to start playing with sliders (QB accuracy down for starters, and FGs need to be more difficult), and I may have to go back to 5-minute quarters. So far 6-minute quarters have not been bad since most of my games have been fairly close affairs, but I guess it can all go south in a hurry in the case of a shootout.
I have another rant about slider settings, but that too shall be saved for another day.