As you know, the recent release of NCAA Football '14 from EA Sports plays on the theme of more realism to the college game than ever before. I don't have the game, but reader Greg Alles (@FlawlessAlles on Twitter) has already played extensively as the Boilers. Here is what he has to say:
T-Mill: I assume you have played extensively as Purdue. How realistic are the ratings?
Greg: I would say the ratings are pretty spot on for us coming into this season. A solid team, but far from being the best. I was able to finish my first season 12-1 and with a National Championship, but not without a lot of luck and solid play.
T-Mill: Who is Purdue's best player to use?
Greg: On offense, Rob Henry is actually a huge threat on this game from what I've played. He is incredibly accurate passing (although it seems EVERY quarterback is on this game), and also has the speed to make him a really dual threat QB. The read-option has gotten a huge upgrade this year, and running it is a very viable option with Henry and Akeem Hunt. Hunt is a solid back on the game, but I was never able to break out a huge run with him.
O.J. Ross (yes he's still there) and Gary Bush are a great 1-2 punch at WR, although my leading receiver (and new school record holder) was actually Gabe Holmes, the senior TE. He catches just about everything that comes his way and is a huge threat using the Four Verticals plays.
On defense, Landon Feichter is the highest rated, and made some very key interceptions throughout the season. The D-Line as a whole is very solid and I was able to amass quite a high number of sacks.
Special teams, Danny Anthrop is a pretty solid return man. I probably averaged about 25-30 yards per kickoff return, but was unable to return any for TDs. Closest I got was to the opposing 20 yard line before being run down. The new stamina system they incorporated with sprinting makes it a bit more challenging to break these all the way for a TD.
T-Mill: Are there any major changes to the way Purdue plays?
Greg: The playbook does seem a bit more run-heavy this year, with the passes being mostly slants and screens. (I use the ask coach feature to give me choices for play calls, so you can still pick your formations and run the offense as you want of course). Wouldn't say it's a major change, but does seem to reflect the new coaching staff.
T-Mill: How is the experience with online dynasty if you have played it?
Greg: I have not tried the online dynasty yet at this point, just offline.
T-Mill: What would you add to make Purdue more realistic?
Greg: A defense that actually tackles and can follow their zone assignments better. (Although I'm thinking the second is a slight bug in the game and hopefully will be patched) Too many times I've watched our linebackers just get completely leveled by an opposing RB or QB, and I'm pretty sure our guys in real life are not this soft and can actually tackle. Otherwise I think the team as a whole on the game is pretty good compared to the real life counterparts.
T-Mill: How accurate is the depiction of Ross-Ade and are there any stadium specific things they have added?
Greg: I believe the Ross-Ade depiction is still the exact same for the most part. Cary Quad, Lambert, and Mackey are still seen in the backgrounds in good detail. Owen Hall still looks terrible (which hurts me since I lived there two years lol). The pregame show now includes a small video hyping the game, and throws catchphrases out between the "highlights". The ones I have seen for Purdue are "#BOILERUP", "Hail Hail to Old Purdue", and "Bang That Drum". The last one I thought was ridiculous, as I've never heard anyone say that at all, but I could be wrong.