NCAA Football Simulation: Wild September digitally predicted

We are simulating the entire 2013 season using NCAA Football 14 from EA Sports. While we may bicker about the role computers play in determining a college football champion, we could not resist using this year's version of the game to see how the season might play out. Using an updated community roster from Operation Sports, we will simulate each game of the season using a PlayStation 3 copy of the game all week long. So let;s get started with a look at week one!

WEEK 1

Alabama 17, Virginia Tech 14 (OT): Entering the game looking to make a statement, Virginia Tech does just that in a losing effort. The Hokies keep the defending BCS champs off the scoreboard until the third quarter, taking a 7-0 lead in to the half. Logan Thomas completes a 25-yard touchdown pass to Coles late in the first quarter as the Hokie defense knocks Alabama starting QB AJ McCarron out of the game. Blake Sims steps in for Alabama under center and completes 11-of-20 pass attempts for 169 yards and two touchdowns. Virginia Tech also needs to switch quarterbacks as Logan Thomas is taken out after going 4-for-11 for 61 yards. Mark Leal takes over and goes 10-for-26 for 127 yards. Alabama kicks the field goal in overtime and keeps the Hokies off the scoreboard for the win.

Clemson rocks Georgia, 34-10: Georgia is kept off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter and by then it is too late. Clemson routs the SEC contender to the tune of 34-10. Georgia turns the football over three times, including an interception by Aaron Murray. Murray loses the head-to-head QB battle by going 15-of-29 for 180 yards without a touchdown while Clemson's Tajh Boyd completes 15-of-25 for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Clemson's Sammy Watkins hauls in four passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. The Georgia running game loses two fumbles as well and Clemson wins the match-up of top ten programs.

Temple stuns Notre Dame, 34-31: The Fighting Irish were caught off guard in the season opener as Temple comes out with some swagger in South Bend. Temple takes a 17-10 lead in to halftime and builds a 31-17 lead in the third quarter while protecting the football. Temple's defense is gashed for 527 yards as the Irish make a furious rally late in the game, scoring 14 points in the final four minutes but ultimately holds on for the upset victory. Notre Dame's Tommy Rees completes 16 of 34 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns but the lack of running game gives Temple the advantage.

Ohio State 23, Buffalo 17 (OT): The Buckeyes start the year with high expectations but struggle mightily in the season opener at home against lowly Buffalo. Buffalo takes a 14-10 lead in to the half and the Buckeyes take their first lead midway through the third quarter with a short touchdown pass from Braxton Miller to Fields. Buffalo manages to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter and forces overtime but they are unable to score on their overtime possession. Ohio State scores the overtime victory on an eight-yard touchdown run by Miller.

Other notable scores

South Carolina 24, North Carolina 21: Gamecocks outlast visiting Tar Heels in a back-and-forth game.

LSU 24, TCU 21: LSU jumps out early but TCU battles back to take a 21-10 lead in to the fourth quarter. This is when LSU comes alive though as the Tigers score 14 points in the final quarter. The game-winning score comes with 34 seconds to play when Mettenberger connects on his second touchdown of the game to highlight a poor 9-for-23 performance against the Horned Frogs.

Florida State 13, Pittsburgh 3: Seminoles give Panthers rude welcome to the ACC in defensive slugfest.

USC 30, Hawaii 0: Trojans look to have their focus dialed in as they start off on the right foot in 2013. Marqise Lee scores two touchdowns, including a 67-yard touchdown.

Texas A&M 27, Rice 10: Johnny Manziel is given a light workload, completing four of five pass attempts for 57 yards and two touchdowns and rushing four times for 27 yards as the Aggies holds back on scouting material for Alabama.

Louisville 56, Ohio 13: The Cardinals waste little time dealing with Ohio in the season opener. Cardinals tally over 600 yards of offense, including 400 passing yards (and three touchdowns) and 39 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown from Teddy Bridgewater.

Washington 24, Boise State 20: Boise State needs the win against Washington but the Pac 12 Huskies hold on for a tight victory at home for the 1-0 start.


WEEK 2

South Carolina 31, Georgia 24: In one of the top SEC games of the season, Jadeveon Clowney and the Gamecocks once again come out on top of Georgia. Making things more frustrating for Georgia is they jump out to a quick 14-0 lead, keyed by a 95-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Murray to Marshall in the opening minute. South Carolina storms back with an impressive fourth quarter, outscoring the home team 10-0 for a stunning 31-24 victory.Georgia's Todd Gurley rushes for 118 yards and a touchdown by Aaron Murray is knocked out of the game, forcing the Bulldogs to count on back-up QB Mason.

Miami 24, Florida 3: The Miami Hurricanes come through with a loud statement in front of their home crowd by soundly defeating the SEC's Florida Gators 24-3. Miami QB Stephen Morris goes 16-of-34 for 206 yards and two touchdowns and running back Duke Johnson goes off for 118 yards on 22 carries. Miami's defense frustrates Florida QB Jeff Driskel all game long, keeping to 13-of-35 for 195 yards and zero touchdowns and one interception. Miami was upset the previous week by Florida Atlantic (31-10), so the Hurricanes even their early record at 1-1.

Oklahoma 27, West Virginia 7: In a key early Big 12 match-up, the Sooners step all over the visiting Mountaineers from start to finish. The Sooners hold West Virginia to just 201 yards of offense and force three turnovers as the Sooners improve to 2-0. Bell passes for 197 yards and rushes for 88 yards to lead Oklahoma but is intercepted twice.

Other notable scores

Ohio State 41, San Diego State 13: Buckeyes are much more focused in week two after an upset scare in week one. Buckeyes dominate visiting Aztecs to improve to 2-0.

Nebraska 27, Southern Miss 6: Huskers improve to 2-0 with a decent victory. Ameer Abdullah leads Nebraska with 109 rushing yards and a touchdown. Southern Miss drops to 0-2 after going winless in 2012.

Michigan 21, Notre Dame 10: Irish drop first two games of the season as Wolverines are led to victory thanks to an 84-yard touchdown run by Fitzgerald Toussaint and 14 fourth quarter points for the victory despite turning the football over four times.

Oregon 55, Virginia 10: Ducks breeze to a victory against Virginia to improve to 2-0.

Texas 44, BYU 23: Longhorns continue to climb rankings with a double-digit victory over BYU on the road. Cougars drop to 0-2 as a result.


WEEK 3

Alabama 35, Texas A&M 21: In one of the most anticipated games of the college football season, it is all Alabama early and often in a key SEC West battle. The Crimson Tide shut down Johnny Football and the Aggies in the first half, taking a commanding 28-14 lead in to the break. Alabama running back TJ Yeldon scores twice before the Aggies sniff the scoreboard, with a 68-yard touchdown run setting the tone. Sims continues to lead the Crimson Tide with McCarron, still off the shelf with an injury from week one. Meanwhile, the Tide also sends receiver Amari Cooper to the injury list for seven weeks with a torn bicep. He'll be out for seven weeks. Manziel passes for 141 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the losing effort.

Kent State 27, LSU 24: LSU avoided an upset bid against TCU in the season opener but was unable to pull one out at home against Kent State. The Golden Flashes shock the Tigers by outscoring the home SEC team 10-3 in the second half for the victory. Dri Archer rushes for 131 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner late in the fourth quarter.

Tennessee 44, Oregon 20: In one of the bigger upsets we have seen thus far, the Tennessee Volunteers go in to Eugene, Oregon and smack around Oregon with a dominating second half. The Vols trail Oregon 17-14 at the half but put up 30 second-half points while shutting down the potent Oregon offense. Tennessee's defense shuts down Oregon for 259 yards of offense.

Other notable scores

Ohio State 27, California 24 (OT): Buckeyes and Bears once again play an entertaining game, with a back-and-forth fourth quarter taking the game down to the wire. Buckeyes prevail in overtime for second time of the season already to improve to 3-0 but critics start to poke at holes in the Buckeyes moving forward.

Vanderbilt 30, South Carolina 27: Vandy scores a major upset in SEC East play with 13-point fourth-quarter for 30-27 victory on the road. Vandy improves to 2-1 and 1-1 in SEC play.

Louisville 38, Kentucky 31: Kentucky plays a physical game and takes it to Louisville in the first half, but Teddy Bridgewater leads Cardinals to a fourth quarter comeback. Trailing 24-21 entering the fourth quarter, Louisville comes out on top of a back-and-forth quarter when Bridgewater rushes two yards for the game-winning score with 34 seconds to play, just under a minute after Kentucky tied the game 31-31. Bridgewater passes for 347 yards and two touchdowns and lads Louisville with 91 rushing yards. Louisville improves to 3-0 and climbs in to the top five in the polls while Kentucky drops to 1-2.

Nebraska 28, UCLA 21: Rose Bowl preview? Nebraska edges the visiting Bruins in a good one, 28-21. Nebraska improves to 3-0 while UCLA continues searching for their first win.

Ole Miss 34, Texas 17: Watch out for Ole Miss. The Rebels jump out to a 3-0 start following a road victory at Texas, the first loss for the Longhorns. As a result, Ole Miss moves in to the top 15 in the nation.

Boise State 24, Air Force 3: Broncos get second straight win with solid victory against Mountain West opponent.


WEEK 4

UConn 28, Michigan 18: The Wolverines travel in to New England as a pretty solid favorite against the UConn Huskies but are sluggish from the start. UConn takes advantage ad takes control with a 14-6 halftime lead and holds off a fourth quarter rally for a surprising 28-18 victory. Whitmer passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns for UConn and the Huskies are able to limit the damage done despite allowing 400 yards of offense. Huskies go 2-for-2 on fourth down conversions as well.

Auburn 48, LSU 17: After being stunned the week prior, LSU is all out of sorts once again at home as Auburn runs away with a surprising blowout victory. Auburn is off to the early jump when they score 14 points in the first quarter and take a commanding 27-3 lead in to the half. Auburn's defense is the story of the game, limiting LSU to just 175 yards of offense and forcing four turnovers. Mettenberger has a frustrating performance, going just 5-for-21 for 50 yards and four interceptions. LSU drops to 2-2 while Auburn improves to the same record.

NC State 24, Clemson 13: In an ACC battle, NC State makes a loud statement by handing conference favorite Clemson their first loss, while improving to 3-0 in the process. NC state turns the football over three times but the defense holds firm by holding the Tigers to just 206 yards of offense.

Other notable scores

Alabama 45, Colorado State 10: Crimson Tide improve to 4-0 with no problem as McCarron returns to pass for 222 yards and a touchdown.

Texas A&M 41, SMU 14: Johnny Manziel and the Aggies get back on track after a loss to Alabama.

Michigan State 34, Notre Dame 16: Another frustrating performance by Notre Dame's offense as Irish drop to 1-3. Spartans now 4-0.

Boise State 34, Fresno State 17: Broncos jump to 2-0 in Mountain West play with solid victory on the road against top threat.

Florida 28, Tennessee 19: Gators win rivalry game against rejuvenated Vols, who are quickly brought back to reality following upset win at Oregon.

Stanford 38, Arizona State 27: In a potential preview of the Pac 12 championship game, Stanford upends Arizona State.

Kansas State 35, Texas 23: Defending Big 12 champs move to 4-0 with road victory at Texas, who drops second straight of the season.

 

We will continue our simulation with a look at weeks five through eight tomorrow. Be sure to check back and see how things stand!

Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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