Hoo, boy. How about that game last week? A real buttstompin' if I do say so myself. Yeah, those Wildcats didn't have a hope against our finely-tuned offense, even if it was Dylan Thompson at the helm. Huge game for Clowney, too!
If only it had played out like that IRL.
Yeah, last week's ODS left much to be desired in the verisimilitude department. In fact, it had three strikes against it before kickoff: both starting QBs were wrong, and Clowney didn't play. Did anything go right?
• Freisman: Elliott Fry had a nice game.
• Mike Check: Ran for 97 yards in ODS, 106 IRL. So that's pretty close!
• THE ONLY STAT THAT MATTERS: Win's a win and ODS called it!
• BRUUUUUawww nuts: Bruce had a big game in ODS, racking up 103 yards receiving. IRL, he caught one ball for 7 yards and fumbled on a kick return.
• Ahmad Squad: Poor Ahmad Christian. His digital avatar set unreasonable standards, picking off two passes in ODS. I.O.E.N.O. what he did IRL but it wasn't that.
• Quarterback Controversy: Remember when no one thought Connor Shaw would play and meanwhile Kentucky wouldn't name a starter? Such is why I started Dylan Thompson and Max Smith, who saw little and no playing time respectively. Such is ODS. Such is Mango.
But hey, ODS is back to its winning ways after (thankfully) flubbing the UCF prediction. This week, ODS meets WPS in Fayetteville. Nothing much to report as far as housekeeping goes. Clowney played. Clayton Stadnik started. Oh, no video coverage this week due to time constraints. You understand.
Arky wins this toss and elects to kick.
Carolina goes three and out to start, but get it right back as Brison Williams picks off Allen's pass on second down. The DigiCocks take over at the ARKY 34. Six plays and two first downs later, DIGI SHON CARSON runs in a pitch, bowling over an Arkansas linebacker en route to paydirt. (I can only report what I see.) It's 7-0, Cocks.
On the ensuing kickoff, Arkansas pulls some Carolina shit: Jamari Smith smashes the returner, jarring the ball loose, and Pharoh Cooper falls on it at the Arkansas 24. Yay freshmen! After a quick first down, the Cocks go nowhere on three plays (Bruce dropped a TD on third down) so Elliott Fry makes it 10-0.
Arkansas is struggling—they go three and out after a Quarles sack and a Clowney QB hurry. The DigiHogs punt from their own endzone and Carolina takes over at its own 39. A highly entertaining drive ensues, featuring completions to six different receivers and two 3rd down and 15+ yard conversions. The second was a 3rd and 15 that resulted in a Shaw-to-Damiere Byrd touchdown strike. It's 17-0, DigiCocks in the 1st quarter.
The second quarter starts out marginally better for Arkansas, who moves into South Carolina territory. But the defense stiffens and its 4th and 16 at the South Carolina 42. Arkansas will try a 59 (!) yard field goal. The kick is actually long enough, but wide right. If there's one fly in NCAA 2014's soup, it's whatever poorly calibrated algorithm causes senseless field goal attempts. At least, for once, it wasn't us on the business end. HOW'S IT TASTE, WOO-WHO?
[Sound of cavernous creaking and grinding of karmic gears lurching to life]
Huh? What was that? Probably just the house settling. Anyway, South Carolina gets the ball with tasty field position, and after a quick first down, Connor Shaw...throws a pick on a deep ball. Huh. Well, can't be perfect all the time, right?
Thankfully, Arkansas gives it right back on a third down interception, this time by Victor Hampton. Four plays later, Shaw is intercepted on a drag route by a prowling linebacker. Hm.
Arkansas finally makes hay. Brandon Allen throws for 53 yards on a 68 yard drive, which is capped by an Alex Collins touchdown run. It's 17-7, Arkansas with 1:27 remaining in the half.
After a touchback, South Carolina sops up yards via the usual methods: short passes and zone reads. Again, Shaw's spreading the ball around, connecting with six different receivers. On 1st and goal at the three, Mike Davis goes smash and scores up the gut. It's 24-7, South Carolina. Arkansas gets the ball back with 33 seconds, but chooses to run out the half.
FIRST HALF REVIEW
Five combined turnovers meant a lot first half drives for both teams. Outside its lone scoring drive, Arkansas has had little to celebrate. They've totaled 113 yards of offense (68 on the one drive, remember) and only 28 on the ground. Meanwhile, South Carolina's on pace for about 500 yards, but Shaw's two big mistakes have kept the game within reach for the DigiHogs. But take away those picks, and his line resembles what we usually expect out of him in a full game: 23-27, 201, 1 TD. As you'll note, half of his incompletions are interceptions. So here we are, South Carolina with a comfortable lead at the half. Based on recent returns, you'd expect the IRL Gamecocks to squander their lead as opposed to build on their advantage. Good thing this is just a video game without any autonomy.
3rd Quarter. Or maybe just don't read any more of this. Go outside and enjoy your Friday. Is it pretty where you are? It's pretty here. Yes, much better things to do than to read the rest of this silly thing. Oh, you're at work and killing time before the weekend starts? I see. Well then. I apologize in advance.
Arkansas sputters out of the locker room, going three and out. South Carolina reciprocates, and Arkansas gets it back at their own 35. A 65 yard scoring drive ensues—Allen completes three passes of more than 10 yards, and rushes once for 11 more. On 2nd and goal from the one, Jonathan Williams punches it in. The drive was the worst the DigiCock D has looked all day, and it's 24-14, South Carolina.
South Carolina goes three and out again on a series that included a hideous sack where Connor Shaw ran diagonally backwards for five yards. He's starting to do that thing where he drops back and then runs as soon as the dropback animation concludes. Arkansas takes over at its own 39, but does nothing with it. Punt.
South Carolina gets it back and—another three and out featuring another grotesque sack of Shaw. Nine plays, three 3-and-outs so far this half. Hull punts from the end zone, and Arkansas will start just past the 50 in SC territory. Arkansas needs seven plays to find the endzone—another 1 yard touchdown run. They never faced a third down on the drive, by the way. 24-21, South Carolina. DigiCocks have -9 yards in the half!
It would seem that South Carolina has exorcized its "let's play an abhorrently shitty quarter of football" demon for the night, and stitches together a nice lil' drive. Eighteen yard completion to Byrd! Swing bass to Carson for 16! Ten yards on the zone read keeper for Shaw! Pass to Ellington is...intercepted. Oh, this is not good.
Arkansas soldiers down the field on a defense that currently resembles a fleet of Roombas. Arkansas moves 70 yards in nine plays (facing a lone 3rd and one along the way). Flash ahead to 2nd and inches on the South Carolina 14 yard line. Allen will go for glory—and the deep ball is intercepted! It's Brison Williams' second pick of the day. The bad news: SC gets the ball on their own 9 yard line, but a sustained drive could milk the 4 remaining minutes.
On 1st and 10, Shaw runs for 11. Curiously, the Gamecocks go 5-wide in a situation that calls for much draining of the clock. Yet somehow the game's A.I. recognizes it enough to have DigiShaw wait on the snap til the playclock is at 2. I don't understand how the game reconciles the playcall with that conservative pace, but whatever. Pass is complete to Jones for 9 yards and a 1st down. Another 5-wide and another clock drain. Pass to Shamier Jeffery, who gains a hearty 17 yards! Arkansas has to start calling timeouts.
Connor on the zone read keeper, gain of five. Timeout, Arky.
Handoff to Davis loses 1. Timeout, Arky.
Handoff to Davis gains 5. Timeout Arky. FOURTH AND ONE AT THE ARKANSAS 37. 1:36 remains. It would seem there are two options here: the overwhelmingly appealing option, which is trying to power ahead for one yard. This would allow Carolina to kneel it out. The other option? Punt and try to pin Arkansas deep, sans timeouts.
So, DigiSpurrier goes for option 3: IDIOTIC 54 YARD FIELD GOAL. NO GOOD. ARKY GETS IT NEEDING ONLY A FIELD GOAL TO TIE. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
So here we go, Arkansas starts at its own 37. First down and they'll go deep: incomplete! On second down, Clowney gets into the backfield and sacks Allen for a loss of 7. HUGE.
It's now 3rd and long, with the clock ticking. Pass down the seam is...complete for 29 yards. Next play: 41 yard touchdown strike to Herndon. PAT is good and it's now 28-24, Arkansas.
South Carolina takes over after a touchback. While this has been a grim sequence, all is not lost: covering 75 yards with 1:10 on the clock and three timeouts really is certainly conceivable. So here's what happens. STRAP IN GUYS:
FIRST DOWN: CONNOR SHAW IS SACKED BECAUSE HE TRIED TO SCRAMBLE THROUGH THE SLIVER OF AIR THAT EXISTS BETWEEN TWO ENGAGED DEFENSIVE TACKLES. OH WE DON'T CALL TIME OUT BECAUSE WHY WOULD WE DO THAT. SO LIKE 20 SECONDS RUN OFF.
SECOND DOWN: IN ONE FLUID MOTION, SHAW TAKES A THREE STEP DROP AND BREAKS INTO ANOTHER SCRAMBLE. SACKED FOR A LOSS OF 1 HAHA
THIRD DOWN: SHAW THROWS DOWNFIEINTERCEPTED I HATE YOU SO MUCH EA SPORTS AFTER THE WEEK I HAD I DIDNT NEED THIS IM GLAD YOUR GAME IS GONNA DIE YOU PETULANT SHITHEADS I BET YOUR PROGRAMMERS COULDNT MAKE PONG REALISTIC OH BUT THEY CAN ADD ELITE CLASSIC PONG TEAM COMPILER OR SOME USELESS THING LIKE HEISMAN MODE GLAD THATS INCLUDED AND BASIC FOOTBALL AI WENT BY THE WAYSIDE.
ARKY KNEELS IT OUT GAME OVER 28-24 ARKANSAS
STATS: HERE YOU GO 4 PICKS AND ABOUT 60 UNFORCED SACKS BY DIGISHAW AND ONE BULLSHIT FIELD GOAL CALL BY DIGISPURRIER OH I HATE YOU SO MUCH EA SPORTS
Ahem. [Straightens tie.] Join us next week when I just play GTA V instead.