Penn State Football: How EA Sports Sees It
It has been a few years since I got caught up in the hoopla of buying something at midnight. My last late-night purchase was one of the Harry Potter books; Half-Blood Prince, I believe. But, being as I have nothing else to do while I sit in Kentucky wasting away in a research project all summer, I decided to go out and grab NCAA Football 11 from EA Sports along side of a few other of the Bluegrass State’s finest Tuesday morning. After playing a few exhibition games, some trends became apparent and EA Sports’ thoughts of the Nittany Lions became known.
First off, they depict the QB situation not as we all see it. Kevin Newsome is the starter with an overall rating of 90, but the freshman Paul Jones (wearing #17 instead of #10) is rated second-best, posting an 87 rating to Matt McGloin’s 86. Newsome has great running ability, but his passing accuracy leaves much to be desired. Use the option along with Evan Royster or Stephfon Green and the rushing yards should start to pile up for the three backs.
Speaking of Royster, he boasts a 95 rating and gets the star designation along with WR Derek Moye. Make sure to split time between Royster and Green. Stephfon has a burst of speed that Evan can’t match in this game.
Defensively, the front seven is as stout as ever. Ollie Ogbu plays like a man possessed as he dominated each of the three teams I played (Western Kentucky, Wake Forest and Ohio State). The brand-new linebacking core is strong with State College’s own Nate Stupar really sticking out. I played against him in basketball during high school and he is made to be just as much of a brick house in the game. I thought that the secondary seemed weaker than what we will see this year on the actual playing field, but other than that, the defense is a force to be reckoned with in the game.
Collin Wagner seems to have a bit more leg on him this year than he did last. I was able to squeak a 45-yard field goal just above the crossbar, a kick that would’ve normally been missed last year. And finally, many fans will see JoePa looking mighty young on the sidelines. I don’t think EA has the budget for an art design staff to create an 83-year-old avatar quite yet.
So if you haven’t done so yet, go out and grab the game. I’d share my online name with you, but I still have my PS2 from my middle school days that does not come equipped with those capabilities. But head on over to Linebacker-U and grab Mike’s gamer tag. I know he’s looking for players to compete in an online dynasty. He also has a great story up on the game. Remember, keep hydrated and stretch out before and after every game. You don’t want to pull something and end up being benched for the rest of the season.