Playing Michigan's (Fictional) Season: Game Nine

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

NCAA Football '14 released on July 9th, and I've decided to test my fortunes with playing through the 2013 season with our beloved Wolverines. Now, it has been a few years since I played an NCAA game, and I got the urge to take a pretty good Michigan team, and combine it with my above-average video game skills and see what happens. Game-by-game diaries with highlights and hilarity commence.

Nebraska brought their ninth-ranked team into Michigan Stadium for a battle. How much of a battle it turned out to be surprised me, Nebraska is good, and Michigan is good, and they didn't go quietly.

Right away, however, I felt good about my chances of surviving the afternoon. Nebraska's first offensive series ended in an odd fourth down try just past the 50 yard line, and it took me a mere two plays to throw a touchdown. Fake Devin Gardner's interception blight appeared the next time I got the ball, but I was able to hold the Huskers to a short field goal. 7-3 midway through the first quarter.

Fake Raymon Taylor redeemed my offensive blunders, and intercepted a screen pass with no one around him, and charged all the way down for another score. Michigan maintains, 14-3. Add in another Nebraska field goal and the first quarter ends with a 14-6 score. Fake Gardner once again was not paying attention to the Nebraska secondary, and threw a second interception right after I gambled on a fourth and one try and kept my drive going. I held firm on defense, however, and answered back with a lovely pass TD down the middle of the field with 5:19 left in the half, to bump my lead to 21-6. This wouldn't be an NCAA game though if the half refused to end without crazy plays. Fake Bo Pelini tried a fake punt on my side of the field and failed, and I responded with a bomb down the right sideline that got me to the one yard line, and dove Fake Gardner into the end zone to up my lead.

28-6 Michigan with three minutes remaining.

Nebraska's next possession saw Fake Raymon Taylor pick off another pass between the hash marks, and I was again betrayed by the game's kicking mechanic, as I hooked a 39-yarder left to give the ball right back with two minutes to go. The Huskers kept up their tricky play calling and converted a fake punt and plowed into the end zone with under a minute left to make a game of it. Michigan still leads, 28-14 (they went for two). I'm not nervous, but I knew Nebraska wouldn't quit, either.

It took awhile in the third quarter for something to happen, but with 11 minutes left, Fake Taylor Martinez went down after a hard hit (I also injured their starting running back in the first half), and the backup quarterback's first play from scrimmage was to throw the ball to a Michigan linebacker. Fake Martinez then reappeared on their next series because I failed to do anything at all with the ball. He got them down inside the red zone, and was again injured, this time for good, after fumbling the ball, and a lineman recovered to keep their drive going. The backup punched it in for a touchdown to close the gap further.

Michigan leads 28-21 with 5:30 left in the third quarter.

Fake Gardner betrayed me again with third interception, as if I wanted to have my season go down in flames, and Nebraska was again charging down the field, determined to eliminate the rest of my lead. Another failed fourth down attempt gave me the ball back, and on the next play I again threw an interception, as if to say, "Here ya go, Huskers! I don't want to win!" Fake Greg Mattison's defense again bailed me out, and got the ball back. This time, I moved the ball, and snagged a quick field goal outside the red zone to put a two-possession lead back on the board.

Michigan leads 31-21 with 10 minutes left in the game.

I entered chewing clock mode this time, and Fake Fitzgerald Toussaint took over, getting first down after first down, and four minutes later, he danced into the end zone to make it 38-21, and Nebraska had nothing left in the tank. They again gave me the ball back, and Fake Gardner threw some terrific mid-range passes for a three minute scoring drive that ended with fake Jehu Chesson (*sniffle*) catching the ball in the back of the end zone.

Michigan held the lead, 45-21 with three minutes to go, and that was that. Nebraska's final possession was as follows: incomplete pass, fumble, sack, punt, and then a timeout with 10 seconds left to throw a short pass that expired the game clock.

Next week's opponent, Northwestern, who were the ones responsible for Nebraska's sole loss entering this week, is 8-1 and salivating at the chance to bring down mighty Michigan. After completing the win against Nebraska, the voters saw fit to leapfrog me over #1 Ohio State, so Michigan sits atop the country for at least one week.

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