Keeping it Real: Talking EA Sports and Maryland Football

Mitch Stringer-US PRESSWIRE

EA Sports recently released their 2014 version of NCAA Football, which features a major update in the realism of the game. Brendan and I discussed how real Stefon Diggs appears in the game, which turned into a discussion and preview about Maryland football.

After Pete previewed EA Sports' NCAA Football '14, Brendan and I started talking about the new updates to the game and how accurate player ratings are in this version. Our conversation is below:

Brendan
I still can't believe Diggs is only an 88 in the game.

Dave
With all of the details EA Sports put into this year's version of the game, you'd think they could have been more accurate with Maryland's most dynamic player

Brendan
You would think, but every year players are rated slightly different than I would have expected. Do I agree Diggs is the best player on the team? Absolutely, but an 88? That doesn't even put him in the top 5 receivers.

Dave
Exactly. I mean, with all due respect to Keith Bowers, how is Diggs only rated 88 if Bowers is an 86?
But I digress
What's important is that Diggs is set to have an All-ACC type year, especially with a real QB under center

Brendan
Absolutely, and apparently even if C.J. Brown gets hurt again, EA Sports has a lot of faith in Ricardo Young. Regardless, Diggs will again be near the top of the ACC all-purpose yardage leaders and be one of the premier receivers in the nation.

Dave
I hope that after last season, we don't have to worry about quarterback injuries for years to come. But I think Young definitely has potential.

Brendan
I agree. I think all the quarterbacks on the roster are capable of leading this team, and more importantly, getting the ball in the hands of all the playmakers Maryland has at their disposal.

Dave
Especially since Dion Long is now in the mix too. With Brown's ability to get out of the pocket and make plays, Maryland will have three very dynamic, elite players on offense

Brendan
Indeed, plus a solid stable of running backs -- even without Wes Brown. The offense in general is going to carry this team for long stretches of this season -- which is strange to say after the past couple seasons.

Dave

Right? What's interesting though is that the game has 6 defensive players in Maryland's top ten list. The defense is definitely inexperienced in a lot of areas, but has a lot of talent.

Brendan
It most certainly does, especially at linebacker and cornerback. Obviously they won't be able to factor in Zeke Riser, who could be an impact transfer, but the defense will definitely improve throughout the season.

Dave
Which is good when you look how Maryland's schedule sets up. They very well could go into conference play 4-0. If they can do that, hopefully the defense will have come together and they'll be ready to go in their final ACC season.

Brendan
Yeah, Maryland's early season schedule shapes up pretty nicely for them. The biggest challenge will be West Virginia, but after they lost a lot of their playmakers they'll be in rebuilding mode. A 4-0 start is a must for a potential bowl bid, because it doesn't get any easier from there.

Dave
I think 7-8 wins is a pretty real possibility for this team, especially if they can go 4-0 in non-conference. Once they get to the ACC, they should be able to pick up wins verse Wake, Syracuse, and Boston College. If they can pick up a 4th win vs. State or UVA, they'll be in pretty good shape. FSU, Clemson, and Va. Tech are obviously going to be hard games to win.

Brendan
Yeah, I think even the most optimistic of Maryland fans would probably chalk those three up as losses. I think 7-8 wins is realistic, and likely what fans should expect. If not for the aforementioned QB injuries, Maryland could have won that many last year. With an improved offense, and an emerging defense, that should be the expectation, not the best-case scenario.

Dave
It's nice having a 7-8 season as the baseline. And we can always dream that Maryland's final season in the ACC will see them win the conference. It's not likely, but I wouldn't say it's impossible.

Brendan
It's not impossible, but a lot of things would need to happen in order to make it happen. Mainly, injuries to everyone on Clemson's offense. Maryland leaving the ACC with a conference championship would get a ton of press nationally I'd have to assume.

Dave
Definitely on both counts. But we can dream, right? Or go play the game and make it happen in our own.

Brendan
Absolutely. I plan on bringing a few national championships to College Park before the summer ends.

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