Simulating Auburn's 2020 season: Bowl game, season stats
Day 103 without Auburn sports: I rummaged up a copy of NCAA Football 14 for Xbox 360, downloaded 2020 rosters for every team, set up the schedule, and simulated Auburn's entire 2020 football season — because, at this point, why not?
Video-game depictions of sporting events have become common during the pandemic, and fans seem to eat it up. Look at Barstool Sports' NCAA 14 series, for example, which netted more than 125,000 viewers during a national championship playthrough earlier this month.
But our usage of the game will differ slightly. Here are the ground rules, for those who missed the first installment. In short, I don't touch the controller; I let the CPU simulate the game how it will.
Onto the games.
Bowl season (Outback Bowl): No. 12 Auburn (10-2, 6-2 SEC) vs. No. 15 Wisconsin (9-3, 7-2 Big Ten)
• Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan starts 4-for-4 passing on the Badgers' opening drive.
• Christian Tutt makes a good play in the open field on third down just outside the red zone to force a Wisconsin field goal. 3-0 Wisconsin.
• Bo Nix opens with two incompletions and a sack as Auburn quickly goes three-and-out.
• Coan again is on the money into Auburn territory, avoiding pressure and making quick decisions across the field.
• Running back Nakia Watson breaks the tackle of Zakoby McClain and scores on a short touchdown reception. 10-0 Wisconsin.
• Tank Bigsby is hit from the side on a third-down carry and fumbles. Defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk scoops it up and scores a 32-yard defensive touchdown. 17-0 Wisconsin.
• Bigsby gets a few first downs for Auburn on the ground before the Tigers fail on another third down and punt.
• Auburn finally forces a punt as Derick Hall sacks Coan after just one first down.
• Bigsby is running hard for Auburn, breaking tackles at the line of scrimmage and looking to punish defenders at the second level. He's up to 75 yards early in the second quarter.
• After a good run by Shaun Shivers, Nix finds Seth Williams on the near sideline for 31 yards into Wisconsin's red zone.
• Bigsby redeems his earlier fumble and scores on a goal-to-go situation. 17-7 Wisconsin.
• The teams trade punts until Auburn has the ball with 45 seconds left.
• Auburn gets across midfield, but Nix can't find anyone in the end zone on a Hail Mary try before the break.
HALFTIME: Wisconsin 17, Auburn 7
• D.J. Williams comes up short on third-and-2 as Auburn again punts to open the second half.
• Following a good punt return, the Badgers strike quickly with a series of chunk plays. Coan throws his second touchdown to extend Wisconsin's lead. 24-7 Wisconsin.
• Bigsby surpasses 100 yards as the Tigers lean on their ground game.
• On a play action pass, Nix finds Eli Stove with a step on his defender for a 51-yard score. 24-14 Wisconsin.
• Coan continues his standout afternoon with another string of effective passes into Auburn territory.
• But on a first-and-goal at Auburn's 9-yard line, K.J. Britt comes up with a fumble forced by Big Kat Bryant on Badgers tailback Isaac Guerendo.
• Auburn passes midfield with its rushing attack.
• Nix finds Seth Williams on a slant for a first down, then the big receiver breaks a safety's tackle for a 29-yard touchdown. 24-21 Wisconsin.
• Wisconsin takes up clock on the ground but ultimately can't complete a third-down pass attempt at Auburn's 38-yard line.
• Badgers coach Paul Chryst elects to go for it on fourth-and-5, and Coan is pressured out of the pocket and can't hook up with his receiver on the sideline.
• Auburn gets to a third-and-2 but can't convert, punting with under 3 minutes left.
• Wisconsin passes midfield but has to punt at Auburn's 47-yard line. The Tigers start at their own 8 with 1:30 left.
• After a first down, Nix launches to a wide open Stove behind the defense. He breaks two tackles for a 60-yard completion all the way to Wisconsin's 22-yard line.
• Nix picks up a fourth-and-2 with his legs to get Auburn inside the 10.
• Two plays later, Auburn dials up a pass, and Nix finds Anthony Schwartz on a slant for a 6-yard touchdown, giving the Tigers the lead with 28 seconds left in the game. 28-24 Auburn.
• Coan is sacked by Daquan Newkirk, and Wisconsin has one play left after a timeout, with 82 yards in front of it.
• The Hail Mary is completed in a crowd of receivers, but Badgers wideout Kendric Pryor is tackled on the spot by Smoke Monday at Auburn's 48-yard line. Ballgame.
FINAL: Auburn 28, Wisconsin 24
B. Nix (AU): 16-for-30, 242 yards, 3 TDs
J. Coan (WISC): 28-for-42, 332 yards, 2 TDs
T. Bigsby (AU): 19 carries, 149 yards, TD, lost fumble
S. Shivers (AU): 6 carries, 29 yards
B. Nix (AU): 10 carries, 26 yards
D. Williams (AU): 6 carries, 9 yards
E. Stove (AU): 2 carries, 5 yards
N. Watson (WISC): 13 carries, 45 yards
I. Guerendo (WISC): 5 carries, 20 yards
G. Groshek (WISC): 1 carry, 3 yards
J. Coan (WISC): 5 carries, 4 yards, lost fumble
E. Stove (AU): 8 catches, 148 yards, TD
S. Williams (AU) 3 catches, 52 yards, TD
J. Shenker (AU): 1 catch, 17 yards
A. Schwartz (AU): 2 catches, 11 yards, TD
T. Bigsby (AU): 1 catch, 10 yards
S. Shivers (AU): 1 catch, 4 yards
K. Pryor (WISC): 8 catches, 108 yards, TD
D. Davis (WISC): 4 catches, 80 yards
J. Dunn (WISC): 6 catches, 51 yards
N. Watson (WISC): 5 catches, 43 yards, TD
J. Ferguson (WISC): 3 catches, 35 yards
M. Stokke (WISC): 1 catch, 8 yards
G. Groshek (WISC): 1 catch, 7 yards
B. Bryant (AU): 6 tackles, 2 TFLs, sack, forced fumble
K. Britt (AU): 9 tackles, TFL, PBU
S. Monday (AU): 6 tackles, 2 PBUs
D. Newkirk (AU): 4 tackles, sack
D. Hall (AU): 3 tackles, sack
2020 VIRTUAL AUBURN STATISTICAL LEADERS
Bo Nix: 3,242 yards (66%), 21 touchdowns, 14 interceptions
1. Tank Bigsby: 674 yards
T-2. D.J. Williams: 620 yards
T-2. Bo Nix: 620 yards
4. Shaun Shivers: 337 yards
5. Mark-Antony Richards: 99 yards
1. Tank Bigsby: 8 TDs
T-2. D.J. Williams: 6 TDs
T-2. Bo Nix: 6 TDs
4. Shaun Shivers: 4 TDs
5. Mark-Antony Richards: 1 TD
1. Eli Stove: 59 receptions
2. John Samuel Shenker: 54 receptions
3. Seth Williams: 43 receptions
4. Anthony Schwartz: 40 receptions
5. D.J. Williams: 30 receptions
1. Anthony Schwartz: 793 yards
2. Eli Stove: 758 yards
3. Seth Williams: 752 yards
4. John Samuel Shenker: 461 yards
5. D.J. Williams: 151 yards
1. Seth Williams: 8 TDs
2. Anthony Schwartz: 6 TDs
3. Eli Stove: 3 TDs
T-4. John Samuel Shenker: 1 TD
T-4. Shaun Shivers: 1 TD
T-1. Owen Pappoe: 91 tackles
T-1. K.J. Britt: 91 tackles
3. Jamien Sherwood: 73 tackles
4. Roger McCreary: 56 tackles
5. Christian Tutt: 51 tackles
1. Derick Hall: 13 sacks
2. Daquan Newkirk: 8 sacks
3. Tyrone Truesdell: 6 sacks
4. Owen Pappoe: 4 sacks
5. Coynis Miller: 3 sacks
T-1. Christian Tutt: 6 interceptions
T-1. Jamien Sherwood: 6 interceptions
3. Roger McCreary: 4 interceptions
T-4. Smoke Monday: 1 interception
T-4. Owen Pappoe 1 interception
SIMULATED SEASON RESULTS (LINKS)
Big 12: Texas
Big Ten: Ohio State
Conference USA: Western Kentucky
Mountain West: Boise State
Sun Belt: Georgia Southern
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF
No. 1 Ohio State def. No. 4 Texas (Rose Bowl Game)
No. 2 Clemson def. No. 3 Florida (Sugar Bowl)
Ohio State 42, Clemson 31