EA Sports released the latest version of their NCAA Football franchise to the public on July 9, promising "renewed authenticity and enhanced realism" with the Infinity Engine 2 technology. According to the EA Sports official site, the game features major improvements to the run game and gives special attention to the spread option offense, among other things.
In other words, EA is trying to "Keep it real."
One of the hallmarks of the franchise is its uncanny ability to always get close to the skill level and playbook of the respective teams. I remember playing previous versions of the game and just orbit sweeping UNC into oblivion on multiple occasions. Riley Skinner (I mean, "Player Number 11") was a 3-time Heisman winner and Wake Forest enjoyed a nice run as BCS Champion.
I love this game.
But did they get it right this year? I'm assuming the game is lacking in true Deacon-ness (Deaconosity?) because nobody is sure what kind of offense Wake Forest is going to run this season. So far, we know that there is going to be increased emphasis on the run game, and that Tanner Price will be keeping the ball more often. So, I'm guessing some form of read option.
I've asked a couple of players who have played this new version to comment on game similarities, and they can't divulge any information. It's a state secret, apparently.
Nobody but the players and staff over at the football office know what kind of offense the Deacons are going to run this year. Heck, Wake Forest fans probably won't see the real thing until week two at Boston College (those miserable, scum-sucking denizens of Chestnut Hill #TheRivalry). So if we don't know, how is EA supposed to know?
What I DO know is that Wake Forest enters 2013 with a lot to prove. There has been a lot of talk so far about the various reasons for the debacle that was 2012: injuries, disharmony, etc. Since that time, the staff has undergone a transformation, as well as the players. Michael Campanaro and Nikita Whitlock, to name two team leaders, have taken it upon themselves to foster a feeling of unity among the players. Additionally, reports are surfacing that multiple players will be reporting to camp in the best shape of their lives.
But as the great philosopher Rasheed Wallace says, "Ball don't lie."
In the video game world, it doesn't really matter what offense the EA designers gave the Demon Deacon football team. Anybody who knows how to play the game knows how to make a BCS bowl with a team from the SWAC. So, on at least one platform, a Wake Forest bowl bid is certainly within reach.
I think it is on the terrestrial plane, as well. It's up to the game designers over in the football offices and the pieces of hardware that report for camp in a few short weeks. I've been defending the offensive performance at the spring scrimmage for months, now, with the exhortation that fans didn't see the "real" offense.
Well, folks...it's time to keep it real on Deacon Boulevard.
Strap it up, y'all- it's finally football season.