Ready for some UH football?

Well, if you are, then RSN writer Danny Cup Choy talks about the EA Sports' newest game, NCAA Football 2003. Can you take Hawaii to the top?

 Review of

'NCAA Football 2003'

 

By Danny Cup Choy

RSN Writer

Thursday, July 25 2002

 

Finally, after months of anticipation and curiosity, NCAA Football 2003 is available for all you fellow PlayStation2 football fanatics. Now, before I begin my review, I want to make a couple things clear. First of all, I am a self-proclaimed Playstation football nut, and after many years of playing both NCAA Football and Madden football, I feel I have a good grasp on these games. However, this column will be more of a preview rather than a review. I say this because I purchased the game yesterday, and have only played one game. While it was enough to give me a good idea about the quality of the game, I am by no means an expert yet on NCAA 2003.

My first impressions of the game were excellent. The graphics are crisp and clean, and the game play has really improved. I just played a quick game with Hawaii and Alabama, just to get a feel for the game. There are some distinct differences that I was able to pick up on during my game. Overall, the game is a lot tougher than last year. I went straight to the "money plays" that I was able to find very quickly in last year's game. You know the plays I mean, the out to Craig Stutzman, the fly by Ashley Lelie, and the corner-post by Channon Harris. I am sure there are money plays that can eventually be found, but NCAA 2003 is a lot tougher. The kicking is different, and I found it more difficult to control exactly where the ball was going. A new feature shows up when you are deciding on a play to run, when game stats appear that reveal whether you are making the bulk of your yards through the air or on the ground. The game makers still have Hawaii with a tight end, which is a major glitch. However, the Run and Shoot as a whole is more accurately represented, as almost all of the formations have multiple receivers with Timmy Chang out of the shotgun. I enjoyed the commentary, mostly because there didn't seem to be the constant repeat of quotes that usually occur in most sports games. Finally, after years of NCAA football games, the UH fight song is finally in the game. I don't know about the rest of you, but that just makes the experience that much more real. 

I played with Hawaii, and was slightly disappointed about how they were put together by the makers of the game. Hawaii's offense received a grade of B, while the defense is a B-. The special teams are also B, which gave the Warriors an overall team grade of B-. I thought almost the entire team was given lower ratings then they deserve (view the depth chart below, and you will see what I mean). 

As I played the game, I noticed certain traits of this Warrior team. Again, I am not sure if all of these are valid, as I only played the game once. It might have been a one game instance, or it could have been Alabama being a good opponent, but this is what I noticed. The most noticeable difference that I picked up on was the vast difference in the receiving corps. Lelie, Stutzman, and Harris were all better than Owens, Gossett and Colbert. There were a lot more penalties in this game, many coming at crucial points. Timmy Chang is still very good in this game. He is accurate, but he has to be because the receivers get little to no separation. Running was almost impossible, and the tackling on most drives seemed extremely poor. Hawaii is still a big play offense, with all of my scores coming on throws of over 40 yards.

Overall, I love the game. I enjoy the fact that Hawaii is not able to dominate like they were in the last game. I would go undefeated without any problem during my 2002 season of NCAA football, but it will be a lot more of a challenge this season. For those of you who love EA sports, Hawaii football, and spending countless hours hollering at a television screen, then NCAA Football 2003 is a must-have.

Depth chart of players, with their ranking next to their name (out of 100).

Offense

QB-    Timmy Chang              (81)

RB-     Thero Mitchell Jr.        (80)

WR-    Chad Owens              (77)

          Justin Colbert            (73)

          Neal Gossett Jr.         (71)

          Gerald Welch            (70)

          Frank Rivers             (67)

TE-     Mark Tate                (70)

LT-     Wayne Hunter           (77)

LG-     Shane Kajioka           (82)

C-       Lui Fuata                 (77)

RG-     Vince Manuwai          (76)

RT-     Uriah Moenoa            (75)

 

Defense

LE-     Laanui Correa            (70)

DT-     Lui Fuga                  (78)

DT-     Lance Samuseva      (65)

RE-     Travis LaBoy            (68)

OLB-    Pisa Tinoisamoa       (67)

MLB-   Chris Brown             (74)

OLB-    Keani Alapa            (69)

CB-     Hyrum Peters          (75)

          Abraham Elimimian    (71)

          Josiah Cravalho       (69)

FS-     Sean Butts             (79)

SS-     Matt Manuma         (64)

 

Special Teams

K-       Justin Ayat            (75)

P-       Mat McBriar           (76)

KR-     Chad Owens           (77)             

 

Now, this is only the EA Sports depth chart and rankings, and you are obviously allowed to start any player you wish. However, many players jump out as being completely undervalued. The top four in my mind are Manuwai, Tinoisamoa, LaBoy and Brown. Kind of makes you wonder about the EA Sports scouts, doesn't it?

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