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Operation Sports’ NCAA Football ‘19: Defense & Special Teams

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Looking at State on the other side of the ball from the perspective of dedicated game editors of EA Sports NCAA Football 14

North Carolina State v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Primer & the Offense

Today is a quick look at how Operation Sports rates our defense and special teams on their 2019 update to the EA Sports video game NCAA Football 14.

DL

Players Overall Strength Agility Acceleration Tackling Power Move Finese Move Block Shedding
Players Overall Strength Agility Acceleration Tackling Power Move Finese Move Block Shedding
Murchison 86 88 91 91 66 90 84 70
Smith-Williams 86 84 86 86 72 84 82 85
Holden Jr. 84 84 78 78 78 86 74 85
McNeil 82 71 93 93 64 85 84 71
Martin 76 62 76 75 63 87 68 65
Lyas 74 75 86 86 66 74 78 80
Boletepeli 73 80 90 90 57 80 80 80
Robinson (DE-Cuse)* 91 82 87 87 86 82 77 91
Wilson (DT-FSU)* 91 88 87 87 88 88 79 88

The most egregious problem with this list is Smith-Williams’ strength only being an 86. We know from reports throughout the offseason that Smith-Williams is a certified G and a bonafide stud when it comes to the weight room. The game seems to be higher on Alim McNeil rather than Val Martin when apparently that position battle is still ongoing. In terms of overall rating this is pretty good for a DL (but incomparable to 2017).

LBs

Players Overall Speed Agility Awareness Tackling Pursuit Play Recognition Man Coverage Zone Coverage
Players Overall Speed Agility Awareness Tackling Pursuit Play Recognition Man Coverage Zone Coverage
Moore* 86 81 86 80 87 78 78 70 71
Wilson 80 76 92 70 80 76 77 70 74
Miller 77 80 94 75 74 80 70 66 65
Acceus 76 85 85 75 74 85 70 66 70
Thomas 73 77 94 65 76 65 70 71 71
Quarterman (The U) 95 82 90 95 91 82 95 79 81

The current ratings of our LBs say some promising things about how the OS crew feels about our future at the position. Moore, as a sophomore, is already close to elite status as he’d be in the 90s overall by time he’s a senior. As said before, the game is usually low on freshman of any kind, but is very high on Payton Wilson becoming a game-changer down the road. I’d say these ratings reflect real life.

Saf/Nicks

Players Overall Speed Agility Awareness Tackling Pursuit Play Recognition Man Coverage Zone Coverage
Players Overall Speed Agility Awareness Tackling Pursuit Play Recognition Man Coverage Zone Coverage
Morehead* 86 87 92 90 76 80 80 83 86
Ingle 78 89 91 75 76 80 70 70 76
Griffin 78 89 94 78 66 90 71 75 76
Graves 73 92 94 70 62 78 62 74 77
Baker-Williams 73 79 87 74 72 74 70 75 76
Cisco (S-Cuse) 95 85 94 95 89 85 95 86 88

Another example of NCAA Football 2014 showing its age: the game has a slot for fullbacks but there is no option for the nickel position. With so many teams using a base 4-2-5 due to spread offenses, this surely would’ve been addressed in future iterations of the series. So the nickel in 4-2-5 formats is always the second best SS in the game’s alignment. I think in general the game isn’t sure what to do with our Safeties after Morehead. I think Kidd-Glass was initially slotted as the starter here, but the OS crew removed him when he looked to transfer. I would’ve been a lot higher on Ingle’s rating. Recognizing his issues were primarily man coverage, his ratings as far as tackling should be much better.

CBs

Players Overall Speed Agility Awareness Tackling Pursuit Play Recognition Man Coverage Zone Coverage Press Rating
Players Overall Speed Agility Awareness Tackling Pursuit Play Recognition Man Coverage Zone Coverage Press Rating
McCloud 83 87 92 88 64 92 85 89 87 89
Ingram 82 88 93 82 70 90 78 87 87 87
Smith 76 86 91 77 68 88 76 82 81 82
Miller 75 88 93 75 62 80 67 80 83 83
Palmer 72 86 97 72 59 70 62 76 81 81
Hall (UVA) 95 87 92 99 94 99 97 98 97 98

The game recognizes the depth we have at the position as Palmer, Miller and (not included here) Battle all have decent ratings with room to grow. Overall though McCloud may be given the short end of the stick here as his rating should be higher but given our problems in pass defense these last couple of years I ain’t mad atcha.

K/Ps

Players Overall Kick Power Kick Accuracy
Players Overall Kick Power Kick Accuracy
Dunn 89 88 90
Morgan 77 79 78
Szmyt (K-Cuse) 98 96 99
Hofrichter (P-Cuse) 90 90 91

If the Impact Player designation could go to anyone on this team, it’d go to Chris Dunn who is our highest rated player at 89 (followed by Josh Fedd-Jackson & Isaiah Moore). Considering the praise he’s received I am not surprised, though it says a lot about the perception of this team as a whole. No one knows what to make of our punter situation yet, so Morgan is right where he should be. Syracuse’s Szmyt, by the way, is one of the highest rated players in the game regardless of position.

(* denotes an “Impact Player” which gives a boost in attributes and effectiveness to that individual during crucial times during gameplay)