Sorry got a little ahead of myself, but I couldn't wait. I looked over all of the stats and stuff and depth charts and apparently the Stanford rosters wasn't right entirely, but I already wrote it so here. Sorry, no pics, PS3 is spacing out, I'll get as detailed as possible.
Played on All American Difficulty, 5 Minute Quarters
UCLA won the toss, and elected to receive. The kickoff went to the 4 yard line, and Austin took it back to around the 25.
1st Quarter, 4:53
1st Down & 10, UCLA ball, on the UCLA 26;
I tried to assert the game plan that I'm expecting, similar to that of the KSU game, so I opened up with a fairly conservative game-plan, running off tackle most of the time, and then put in a motion PA when the safeties started creeping up, but the passes were to Paulsen, and then Moline. Franklin was dominant, consistently picking up 7-8 yards. Coleman was put in on 3rd and 1 situations. The drive really started clicking at the UCLA 40. I put in a quick shotgun to start warming Craft up. He was spot on, hitting Austin for 13 yards on a deep in, then Embree on a quick slant, but then he broke a tackle and ended up on the Stanford 30. Next, I went with a few Franklin dives, but then Stanford keyed in and got it to 3rd and 2 from the 21. Craft came to the sideline and told me to run Z spot. I trusted him. He rolled right, hit Paulsen on the quick slant out, and he barely stretched out past the marker. I dove with Franklin down to the 15, then Coleman got down to the 5. Coleman stretched out at the pylon and scored the first TD. Forbath nailed on the PAT, and UCLA led 7-0
Locke kicked off and got a Touchback out of it.
1st Quarter, 0:13, Stanford Ball, Stanford 20.
UCLA started out strong on defense, with Price sacking Luck on their first play from scrimmage. I decided to get back after him and blitzed off of the left side, Gerhart was luckily running to that side, and Ayers got the TFL, now it was 3rd and 17. I decided to expect a pass to Sherman, but still, Viney got beat off of play action and Moore had to come in and clean up the play, they ended up getting a first down, taking UCLA's defense right out of rhythm. I decided to just replay the system, and it worked out well. Blitzing on first down hit Gerhardt for no gain, then a nice mix up with cover 2 broke up a pass play, again, on 3rd down, I used the key on Sherman, and the pass was complete, but this time, well short of the first down line.
They punted to the UCLA 43, for no return.
2nd Quarter, 3:42, UCLA ball, UCLA 43.
Norm messaged me down that we should take this momentum into the locker room and run down the clock to end the half up 10 or 14-0. I said that's smart, but we'll take the TD. Sticking to the last drive's ways, Franklin quickly bounced it to the outside for a nice 20 yard run. He needed a breather, so I went to Knox this time (for those of you who know the game well, I put him in by pausing and changing the depth chart, while keeping the Spell-HB package in for Coleman on some of the I-Sets). Knox responded to the shotgun sweep with an "ok" 5 yard gain. The clock was now under 3 minutes, so I decided to get some more yards before punching it in with the 2 minute offense. I went with a Corner Strike play in Shotgun, and Craft quickly ran out of time and had to scramble right back up the middle. He slid, but only gained 2. So 3rd and 5 from the Stanford 40 (more or less). The clock ticking, and approaching 2 minutes, I used Z spot again, but the corner played in the flats, so Craft hit Austin on the slant-curl for the first down. I composed the troops and went back to some Chow plays, hitting Moya for a nice gain, then Embree on a "Audibled" PA play. UCLA marched down to the 20 yard line, and I decided to wrap the half up with a 3 play set. Power O (off tackle, lead blocker) left with Frankline, right with Coleman, then PA power O to Moline for another TD. Kai was money, 14-0
Locke booted it again for another Touchback.
2nd Quarter, 0:13 left. Stanford ball, Stanford 20.
Surprisingly, Stanford decided to run the ball with Gerhardt, who ended up fumbling on 2nd down after they called a timeout, strange AI, but oh well. Time expired and UCLA had the ball. I gladly took the 14-0 lead into halftime.
Halftime Observations: Obviously, Time O' Possession was absolutely key. UCLA's offense looked nearly unstoppable, as the chains were always moving, and the ability to "Chew" Clock was put directly into the favor of UCLA's quarterback Kevin Craft, who was a perfect 7-7 for 63 yards going into the half. Franklin led the team in rushing with 48 yards, Coleman had about half the carries, and justly, had half the yards, picking up 17, Knox with the other 3. The defense worked quickly to get the offense back on the field to strut its stuff, and so, the stats weren't too pretty all around on defense, with just 6 tackles in the first half, but only 12 yards gained, so not so ugly ;) Also key was Field position, from what I saw, Stanford has an offense that would do better at around the 50, with their routes mostly extending to the outer parts of the field, the defense, at the fifty, is less fresh and wouldn't be able to jump those routes. Luck is a good enough quarterback to not throw that ball, and took the sack wisely as ATV and RM were ready to take one back.
Kicking off, Sherman took this one out, to around the 30 yard line, their best Field Position yet.
3rd Quarter, Stanford Ball, Stanford 33. 4:52
Gerhart took the ball off tackle right away for a rumbling 4 yard gain, and I said, it was a fluke. He did it again, trucking Bosworth as he went off tackle again for another 4. I expected run again, but Luck ran a naked bootleg, and completed it to the TE for a short gain, 1st and 10. They continued to drive till they got to the UCLA the 40, where it was 3rd and 4. I didn't key anything, so it was fair game. The play was to Gerhart, he fell forward, and picked up another 1st. Surprisingly, they went back to the passing game, and threw into the sidelines on 1st down, and then on 2nd down, threw to a covered Gerhart on the screen, he was wrapped up, bringing it to 3rd and 17 again. Familiar right? Well, I keyed in on Sherman, and sure enough, the pass was to him, except Moore missed the pick, but Viney was right there to tackle him, but not before they were all the way down to the 29. Gerhart was stuffed on 1st and 2nd to bring it to 3rd and 8. Luck looked for the deep post, but missed his man, bringing up 4th down. They kicked the field goal to get on the board, 14-3, UCLA.
Stanford kicked off to Thigpen this time, he scooted up the sideline for a solid return all the way to the UCLA 42.
3rd Quarter 1:10, UCLA Ball, UCLA 42.
Guess what Norm said this time. Right, run the clock out. I listened. I immediately repeated the same gameplan, except rotated the backs every down. Franklin, Coleman, Knox, repeat. It would either be extended periods of everyone, or quick rotations so everyone could get into a rhythm. As a preset goal, I would run on every play this drive, and it worked. Franklin would be used on off-tackle runs, Coleman between the tackles, and Knox in the spread or in the Ace sets. Massive results. Every play was a run that drive and we got all the way in for a score, not to mention work the clock down to 2 minutes left in the 4th. 21-3, Bruins.
Locke kicked to the goal line, and the coverage worked well, Sherman only returned to about the 28.
4th Quarter 2:13, Stanford Ball, Stanford 28.
I stopped the defense as they ran out onto the field and said, this is the game, turn up the intensity. So they did, (In EA terms, I set it to global aggressive except for strip ball). Luckily, it worked out well. Luck was forced out of the pocket by Reggie Carter on a Cover 2, Zone blitz up the middle, and he had to force the ball, and it fell innocently to the turf. 2nd down, same thing, except he passed the LOS, and slid down for a gain of 2, he hurried up to the line as the clock passed 2 minutes, they ran a quick slant play against my man, and picked up a first. Hurrying again, the Cardinal started to click a bit, slant again, hit the FB, then a nice wheel route into double coverage, unfortunately, Luck got Lucky no, I promised myself I wasn't going to say that, Luck rolled the dice and won, getting down to the UCLA 24 yard line. The defense finally cracked, missing 2 tackles, and letting Gerhart rumble into the endzone off of a delayed sit down route. 21-10, UCLA. With just 1:04 left
They tried the onside, and failed.
4th Quarter, 1:04. UCLA ball, Stanford 42 yard line.
I just had to run out the rest of the clock now, Stanford only had 1 TO, so I told Franklin to hold on to the ball. First play, he gets stripped, but Kai Maiava falls on it. I pull him, and yell at him as he goes to sit down. Coleman carried for another 8 yards, and then Craft took a knee, Game, set, match.
Players of the Game:
UCLA dominated from start to finish. With the exception of one late drive, Stanford was completely overmatched on this one. In the words of Lee Corso:
UCLA completely dominated from start to finish, now I'm tellin' ya, this team is for real.
I'll take that, thank you Mr. Puppet sir. Kevin Craft was perfect. However, he only needed to pass 7 times. Unrealistic?ya... but in the real scheme of things, that's what needs to happen. Take the ball and put it in the hands of the guys who are dominating, in this go around it was the 3 Headed Monster in white and gold and blue. The rotation in the second half really worked to an extreme advantage for the Bruins, and the defense didn't even have to sink its teeth into this one because of the amount of time that this 3 Headed Monster took up as it moved the ball up, down, over, and around the Stanford defense. Now, I don't think that Stanford will only get 3 chances at moving the ball, but essentially, the ideals, again, are correct. Gerhart was just a bruiser, and I expect him to be just as physical in the game in two weeks as well. Here's my virtual checklist... also known as the 3 L's
- Let the offense win this one for you, and let the best players on offense do it.
- Limit possessions for the Stanford Offense
- Lose the risks on offense, you won't need to make them against a fairly weak defense.
The realism behind this game is about 2 percent, aside from the names, gameplay won't reflect the real outcome... to a specific degree at least. So don't take this to heart, I'll make some sort of video sometime over the week to really analyze how to attack the Stanford D.