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NCAA Football '14 Simulation: Illinois Fighting Illini @ Penn State Nittany Lions

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We used the popular EA Sports video game to simulate the results of Saturday's Illini game. Can the Illini have a happy ending in Happy Valley?

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

With the help of some passionate college football fans in the world of the internet, TCR will be simulating every Illinois football game this season using EA Sports' NCAA Football '14. We've downloaded updated rosters and the team depth charts will be changed on a week-by-week basis to reflect what we'll see on the field. We'll also check the weather forecast to mirror the expected conditions at kickoff.

Last season, our simulations predicted the correct outcome 70% of the time.

This season, our simulation is (6-1).

*****

Week 8: Illinois Fighting Illini (4-3) @ Penn State Nittany Lions (6-1)

It was bound to happen eventually, but the simulation FINALLY suffered it's first wrong prediction last week against the Wisconsin Badgers.  This week, Illinois heads east to Happy Valley to take on the Nittany Lions and shake off a 3 game losing streak.  Will the Illini be able to get off the loss train?  Or will Coach Cubit and the Illini drop their 3rd straight game?

First, let's see how both teams are rated:

Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Overall: 79
  • Offense: 83
  • Defense: 78
Penn State Nittany Lions
  • Overall: 88
  • Offense: 90
  • Defense: 88

Simulation:

From the opening kickoff, Penn State grabbed the lead early and never looked back.  Saquon Barkley started the scoring early for Penn State, and Christian Hackenberg added an 8 yard touchdown pass in their next possession. Hackenberg would go on to throw for 525 yards and another 4 touchdowns to give him 5 in the game.  His favorite target was DaeSean Hamilton, as Hamilton would catch 2 of the 5 touchdown passes.

As for Wes Lunt and the Illinois offense, Lunt would rack up over 600 yards and throw for 5 touchdowns.  His favorite targets were Geronimo Allison (21 catches and a touchdown), Malik Turner (12 catches and a touchdown), and a returning Marchie Murdock (2 touchdown catches).  Even though this was one of the best simulations we've seen from the offense, Penn State simply could not be stopped.

Final Score: Penn State 54, Illinois 34*

*- Remember...this is just a video game

Here is the scoring summary and team stats for the game:

Want more previews of Saturday's game? LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST HERE