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A 2020 Husker Spring Game Simulation

April 17, 2020

There’s no spring game this year. Nebraska will be holding a consolation game, but it’s not going to provide a peek into what we should expect from the 2020 iteration of the team. For obvious reasons, Nebraska can’t give fans a virtual simulation of the spring scrimmage via EA Sports’ NCAA Football 14 video game using rosters comprised of current players. Player likenesses in the game are the entire reason it stopped after 2014. Instead, Nebraska is using all-time rosters for the Red-White (sim) game. 

But we at Hail Varsity are not bound by such rules. 

So, dusting off the old Xbox 360—which, by the way, is so old it doesn’t actually recognize the 5G wireless network in my apartment—and popping in my scratched-beyond-recognition copy of NCAA 14, whose original case was lost so long ago the replacement case has been lost, is exactly what we’re going to do. 

I simulated a Nebraska-Nebraska game on my console 20 times. One Nebraska side had what would have been the red team, the other what would have been the white team. Red won 17 of the 20 simulations. 

Some disclaimers:

  • I took liberties with roster construction for the two sides. Instead of the Red team getting the ones and twos for both sides of the ball, Red got the first-team offense while White got the first-team defense. 
  • The rosters went as follows:
    • Red Offense: Adrian Martinez and Noah Vedral (QBs), Dedrick Mills and Brody Belt (RBs), Brenden Jaimes (LT), Matt Farniok (LG), Cam Jurgens (C), Boe Wilson (RG), Bryce Benhart (RT), Travis Vokolek and Jack Stoll (TEs), Wan’Dale Robinson and Chris Hickman and Alante Brown and Kade Warner (WRs)
    • Red Defense: Jordon Riley and Damion Daniels and Casey Rogers (DL), Garrett Nelson and Luke Reimer and Va Mauga-Clements and Blaise Gunnerson (LBs), Braxton Clark and Quinton Newsome (CBs), Myles Farmer and Noa Pola-Gates (S)
    • White Offense: Luke McCaffrey and Logan Smothers (QBs), Rahmir Johnson and Ronald Thompkins (RBs), Brant Banks (LT), Turner Corcoran (LG), Will Farniok (C), Ethan Piper (RG), Christian Gaylord (RT), Austin Allen and Kurt Rafdal (TEs), Jamie Nance and Demariyon Houston and Bennett Folkers and Christian Banker and Wyatt Liewer (WRs)
    • White Defense: Ben Stille and Keem Green and Ty Robinson (DL), JoJo Domann and Collin Miller and Will Honas and Caleb Tannor (LBs), Dicaprio Bootle and Cam Taylor-Britt (CBs), Marquel Dismuke and Deontai Williams (S)
  • Because this is a simulation that doesn’t feature complete control over who goes in the game, when, or for how long, the starting quarterback is naturally going to play the entirety of the game. To try and account for that, Martinez and McCaffrey got 15 of the 20 starts, Vedral and Smothers got the other five
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