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NCAA '09: Our O-Line SUCKS

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So after playing half the season (I'm at the Ole Miss game now), some initial thoughts on the newest edition:

* I see where the complaints over the ridiculously easy kick returns come from. I've given up at least eight of them so far, and it seems like every opposing offense gets to start from around the fifty. It's frustrating as all hell, especially since every time I get a fairly comfortable two score lead it's inevitably right back to a one score as soon as I kick it off.

* Open field tackles are darn near impossible. I can't tell you how many tackles I've had shrugged off (it seems like all of them) by opposing players. Case in point, every single Georgia player took two or three defenders to bring down, and that includes offense and defense. If you want to make Moreno hard to tackle in the game, that's cool. He's hard to tackle in real life. Stafford? Yeah, he's a big guy, though the six tackles he shook off was a bit unbelievable (couple that with the 60ish yard TD he threw after all that and the controllers start a flying). Still, making him hard to tackle isn't too unbelievable. The receivers? They can shake a DB here and there, but when you need a safety and a LB to come over and help bring them down every time they touch the ball it's getting ridiculous, and Asher Allen is now my least favorite person in the entire world after taking a kick off return back for a TD while breaking four tackles in the process (and juking two more out of their cleats) with only 1:32 left in the game to bring the Dawgs to within a FG of winning (thankfully I recovered the onside kick and ran the clock out).

* Rashad Johnson will pick off anything thrown near him, and then immediately fumble it away as soon as he is hit. This will happen every time the computer needs a long pass play to convert a third (or fourth) down and you think you have them stopped.

* Andre Smith is a punk in this game, spending more time on his back than an Auburn sorority girl. Same goes for Marlon Davis, Antoine Caldwell, Evan Cardwell, Mike Johnson, and Nick Walker, none of whom could block a little old lady with a decent head of steam. Cardwell (who I have at center and Caldwell at RT) is blown up at least 95% of the time, and Johnson is typically flattened right after him, if he's not busy turning and watching the defender run right past him. If this game were real, opposing defenses could literally only rush three every down and still get to Wilson before he has a chance to throw. There was actually one play where I was being sacked the instant I hit X. It was ridiculous.

* The defense is stout, though, holding Arkansas to five total yards and leading the country with a stingy 93 total yards per game.

*Marquis Johnson is almost single handedly winning the games for me, either taking INTs back for TDs himself or at least setting me up in easy scoring (by which I mean FG) range.

* Bobby Greenwood and Luther Davis are my two DEs, and they are absolute studs. Same for Cory Reamer, who I have at OLB.

* Terry Grant will fumble every single time he rushes. I've gotten to where I only use him in shotgun formations where I can throw to him on a swing pass. Anything else and he's a turnover waiting to happen.

* And speaking of running backs, has anyone else had trouble with the running game? Maybe it's because the opposing d-line is five yards into my backfield as soon as the ball is snapped, but the only rushing yardage I can muster is from the receivers on sweeps and option pitches.

* Wilson has something like a 6/15 TD/INT ratio right now, and the vast majority of those INTs are from throwing the ball while being engulfed by three defenders. It's like Bob Connelly got hired by EA to program the pass protection schemes or something. He also has zero accuracy over ten or so yards.

* In the two games I was actually comfortable enough to start subbing players in (Clemson and Kentucky), McElroy was amazing. The digital McElroy has an arm on him, and I've taken to subbing him on long distance downs since he can actually hit receivers in stride on go routes while Wilson invariably throws it out of bounds or short (and subsequently into the waiting hands of the CB or safety).

That's it for now. How is it treating the rest of you?