NNN NNN CCCCCCCC AAA AAA 00000000 99999999 NNNN NNN CCCCCCCCC AAAAA AAAAA 0000000000 9999999999 NNNNN NNN CCC AAA AAA AAA AAA 000 000 999 999 NNNNNN NNN CCC AAA AAA AAA AAA 000 000 999 999 NNNNNNNNNN CCC AAA AAA AAA AAA 000 000 9999999999 NNNNNNNNNN CCC AAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAA 000 000 999999999 NNN NNNNNN CCC AAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAA 000 000 999 NNN NNNNN CCC AAA AAA AAA AAA 000 000 999 NNN NNNN CCCCCCCCC AAA AAA AAA AAA 0000000000 999 NNN NNN CCCCCCCC AAA AAA AAA AAA 00000000 999 **************** *NCAA Football 09* **************** **************** NCAA Football 09 FAQ For XBox 360, PS3 Version 1.2 (8/5/08) Written by Brad Russell "TheGum" Email: lunatic_252000@yahoo.com Website: www.thechaosuniverse.com **************** Version 1.0 - could translate PS3 to 360 controls, and I will add in the football section, but the core is finished. (8/4/08) Version 1.2 - did the 360 translations and added the football section. I sure hope I know what I'm talking about. (8/5/09) ***************** Table Of Contents ***************** Use Ctrl + F to quick find in this guide. Section: Code: 1. A Brief Foreword 2. Controls ( CON2222 ) 3. Starter Tips ( TIPS333 ) 4. Dynasty ( FAQ4444 ) Pre-Dynasty PRDY15 Pick a School PIAS16 Pre-Season PRES17 Regular Season REGS18 Off-Season OFFS19 5. Football ( PLAY555 ) Offense OFF1234 Defense DEF5678 Special Teams SPT9012 6. Glossary ( GLOS666 ) Recruiting REC25 College Football CFB26 Football FOB27 7. Author Info / Copyright ***************************************************************************** * 1. A Brief Foreword * ***************************************************************************** This is my first attempt to provide insight for a sports game. I fancy myself at being good at football games, and maybe even a smart football fan about all things football. The reason I write this guide is because I noticed my own struggles while playing the dynasty, and I hope to pass the knowledge onto you. If this guide is a success, maybe I can easily transfer it to other football titles. TheGum. ***************************************************************************** * 2. Controls ( CON2222 ) * ***************************************************************************** This is the most comprehensive controls section I've ever made, so you better like it. Key: When you see X (A), it means PS3 (XBox 360) PS3 = 360 X = A SQU = X O = B TRI = Y L1 = LB R1 = RB L2 = LT R2 = RT LS = LS RS = RS D-Pad = D-Pad L3 = L3 R3 = R3 Start = Start Select = Back ======= General ======= Move player - LS Sprint - R2 (RT) (can be bad at times) Switch player - tap O (B), hold and direction to scroll Show routes (playart) - R2 (RT) + Up; bluff with R2 (RT) + left/right Audible - SQU (X) Preplay help - R3 Replay - L1 + R1 (LB + RB) Timeout - Select (Back) Pause - Start ======= Offense ======= Hurry-up -------- *Hold all of these after a play is over Hurry - X (A) Hurry and call last play - TRI (Y) Spike - SQU (X) Fake spike - O (B) Pre-Play -------- *While at the line of scrimmage Timeout - Select (Back) Snap - X (A) Fake snap - R1 (RB) Quiet Crowd - L3 Audible - SQU (X) and then one of the receiver buttons that corresponds to the pre-set play. These are displayed for you in this game. Motion - hold O (B) + left/right to select a player, then press left/right to send him in motion Flip run - RS left/right Slide Protection - L2 (LT) + up/left/down/right Hot Routes ---------- *These are pre-play Select player - press TRI and then the receiver's button Hot Route - after you select a receiver, press one of the following routes Straight up - LS up Come back - LS down In/Out route - LS left/right Fade - RS up Drag - RS down Slant - RS left/right Block - left/right = L2/R2 (LT/RT) Smart route - R1 (RB) Cancel - O (B) Passing ------- *Keep in mind you can move in the pocket, and run and pass so long as you never cross the line of scrimmage Pass the ball - X, O, SQU, TRI, L1 (A, B, X, Y, LB); tap for a lob, hold for bullet pass Throw away (out of pocket) - R1 (RB) Pump fake - flick RS Run - R2 (RT) (same as sprint) Option Plays ------------ Pitch/Lateral - L2 (LT) Fake pitch - L1 (LB) Fullback (triple option, hold at handoff) - X (A) Running ------- *This is when running to start, with the QB, or after a catch Sprint - R2 (RT) Spin - O (B); RS in a circle Dive - SQU (X) Hurdle - TRI (Y) Stiff Arm - X (A) Protect ball - R1 (RB) Lateral - L2 (LT) Juke - RS left/right/down Highlight stick - RS up Catching -------- Switch to receiver - O (B) Catch - TRI (Y) Diving catch - SQU (X) Blocking -------- *I guess someone may want to do this, sadly For a running play, switch to player like a hot route, then press L1 (LB) to control that blocker after the snap. Press the RS up for an impact block, or down for a cut block. ======= Defense ======= Of course after an INT or fumble, normal running moves apply. Pre-Play -------- Timeout - Select (Back) Audible - SQU (X) Jump Snap - L2 (LT) Pump up Crowd - L3 Defensive line audibles - L1 (LB) Linebacker audibles - R1 (RB) Coverage audibles - TRI (Y) D-Line Audibles --------------- *L1 (LB) and then any of these buttons, or O (B) to cancel Shift - LS left/right Spread/Pinch - LS up/down Crash - RS right/left/down DE contain - RS up Linebacker Audibles ------------------- *R1 (RB) and then any of these buttons, or O (B) to cancel Shift - LS left/right Spread/Pinch - LS up/down Blitz - right/left/all = RS left/right/down LB Zone - RS up Coverage Audibles ----------------- *TRI (Y) and then any of these buttons, or O (B) to cancel Show blitz/Show man - LS left/right Soft/Press - LS up/down Safety zone shade - RS left/right Safety shade - RS up/down Hot Routes ---------- *Tap O (B) to select player, then press X (A) and one of these buttons, cancel with O (B) Hook Zone - LS up QB Contain - LS down Man Coverage - LS left + receiver icon Buzz zone - LS right Blitz - RS down Deep zone - RS up QB spy - RS left Flat zone - RS right After Snap ---------- Sprint - R2 (RT) Switch - O (B) Dive - SQU (X) Strip ball - X (A) Strafe - hold L2 (LT) Intercept - TRI (Y) Diving INT - SQU (X) Swat - X (A) Hit stick - RS up for high; RS down for low Bull rush - R1 (RB) Finesse move - L1 (LB) Hands up - TRI (Y) ============= Special Teams ============= Kick - LS change height and direction of kick; RS down until in the red, then up in the direction when in the red or close to it for power. Don't adjust kickoff height please. Punt - same as kick, just know low punts will be returned easier. Fair catch - TRI (Y) Kneel in endzone before leaving - don't move All other moves apply when returning. ***************************************************************************** * 3. Starter Tips ( TIPS333 ) * ***************************************************************************** #1. Watch out for when entering the dynasty mode, as it resets the base difficulty set in you quick games. Basically, if you blow out your first 2 opponents, most likely the game difficulty was set to varsity. Just something to watch out for. #2. In most of the windows there is the option to press select and have a helpful audio track give you some advice. #3. Be sure to quick save (LS) when you've done something, such as finished your recruiting or a game. Not only do you ward off the ability of a storm to ruin your game, but you cheaters can at any time restart when you're losing a game. It's up to you if you do this, everyone has at some point. #4. Please note that there are ways to filter most lists with the shoulder buttons. #5. When playing, I always kick the ball to start a game. That way, no matter what happens in the first half, you can start the second half with the ball. #6. Not much harm in going for it on 4th down when the ball is near the 40, especially on Heisman where kickoffs and returns usually put the CPU team on the 40 anyway. #7. A basic tip while passing is to look downfield. Of course if you have routes that take a while to develop, maybe then you can watch the pocket collapse and enter scramble mode. You should see where the blitz is coming from right after the snap and either respond or see if it's picked up. #8. It's best to learn all the shifts before a play. There are three on defense and one on offense. Then learn all the motions and hot routes for offense; in time you may want to learn about the defensive hot routes too. #9. Must play mascot mashup! Maybe that's ALL you need to play! You can block punts, eh? ***************************************************************************** * 4. Dynasty ( FAQ4444 ) * ***************************************************************************** NCAA Football 09 Dynasty FAQ =========== Pre-Dynasty PRDY15 =========== Before you jump in, I need you to play a normal game. Just play a quick game against the computer. You be a great team and play a decent-enough team. If you win by a lot (20+) then please go to the game options and up the game difficulty. Play another game and if you still win by a lot, play another quick game on Heisman. If you win, and not even by a lot, but if you win a game on the hardest difficulty, you are pretty good. You can play more games, figure out the controls, get to know your team, get to know how the game of football works, and play until you think you're ready to invest some time into this game. Now, if you plan to sim through this dynasty, then it doesn't matter how well you can play the football portion of this game. But if you want to play, if you want to feel what it's like to win and lose, if you want to know what it feels like to kick a walk-off field goal in the BCS title game, please find the difficulty that is right for you. *NOTE: Be aware of what caliber of team you are good with. If you are barely winning games on Heisman with a top school, then you can only hope to play dynasty with a top school. By picking a low school on a hard difficulty you will probably taste defeat a few more times than you think. Then again, if you truly are good, it shouldn't matter - okay, it matters if you take on Georgia with a crappy team.* ============= Pick a School PIAS16 ============= Your first choice should be easy. If you are an old pro of these football games then you should probably get a lower level school. If you want to play your favorite team, do that too. And if you want to have an easier time, pick a powerhouse school. Colleges are ranked by stars. The best ones have 6 while the weaker ones have just one star. If you scroll through the conferences (which should be a shoulder button as you are selecting a team) and go to the Independents, you will see a one star team - Army - and a six star team - Notre Dame (laugh at that 3-9 record while your at it!). You have a ton of teams to choose from, and the decision is purely yours. Since this is your first dynasty, or you're just brushing up on your skills, then pick a 3-6 star team that you don't hate and go with them to make things easier. I shouldn't have to say this, but the reason why Oklahoma has 6 stars is because high school kids want to go there, and each star less than 6 means that team/school is not going to have as easy of a time as OU at recruiting or even winning games. Of course if you play the games yourself as a 1 star team and you win the BCS title, then things will get better in a hurry. Keep in mind, this is a DYNASTY mode. If you just want to play the games, you can let the CPU handle the recruiting, but you play this mode to see how well you can build up your team's reputation, not to just play the games. You can always change from hands-on to hand-off or vice versa at any time. Pick a team and press start. I know you can control up to 12 teams, but why? Be sure to let the game make names for your players, because HB #12 will get old real quick. ========== Pre-Season PRES17 ========== Pre-Season Recruiting --------------------- First we need to select some high schoolers that will be your targets to join your team. Create a Player --------------- One of the fun things you can do is make your own player when you start recruiting. You can make a lot, 25, but you should only keep it to one or two at the most as it is quite time-consuming. If you are just starting out, you may want to skip this as it doesn't mean you add this player to your team, but more on that later. Creating a player is easy. Pick a position, name, hometown, appearance, and stats. The stats is the main thing to keep in mind as the stats you choose affect the two stats at the top: tendency and overall rating. You should, out of good faith, reduce the stats he does not need at his position and then increase the stats you want him to have. I have not tried it, but I imagine making him 100 in all or the main stats he needs will make him a 5-star recruit and harder for you to grab. So make him good at what he does, but don't overdo it. Some things to keep in mind. His hometown relative to your school's location may have an effect on your ability to recruit him, maybe not, but something to be aware of. You may want to turn him into a senior, as these guys are coming from high school, so it depends on how long you want to wait to get him, on top of if you even win him over or not. And when you make a player(s), be sure to put them on your board in the next step, otherwise all the work you did on him was for nothing if another school gets him. So if you are a bad school, it's possible to get a 5-star player, but it would be easier if you made slightly-above-average players so you can get them easier. Recruiting Central ------------------ So now you're at the Recruiting Central screen and there are a few tabs to open up. Most are not needed, at least not now. At this point in time, I want you to decide if you want to be fully hands-on with this recruiting, or if you are at a 6-star school and you just want to play ball. If you got a top school, you can pretty much let the CPU handle all your troubles. But if you are one of the low teams you should probably do all the work yourself. By default the CPU can do all the work for you, so just press start and be on with it. But if you want to turn off the computer help, go to the Recruiting Strategy tab and turn all three options off, or leave the "Recruiting Board Assistance" one on as it is the most important one. My School --------- I go to The University of Oklahoma / OU / Oklahoma, so I know my school is tops in most of the areas. However, if you have picked a school with lower than 6 stars, you probably need to open this window to view the info. One star doesn't mean your team is terrible in all the values, it just means you'll have a few poors and fairs in there. Look it over, get a feel for what you got, and then exit. Picking Prospects ----------------- You have three tabs to add prospects to your board: Russell Top 100, Search, and Database. All three are options for picking recruits from around the continent (because even though I'm sure it's legal for someone in Canada to go to the American Army college, it still looks weird). All recruits are listed from top to bottom in best to worst order. I don't like using the search because it will spit out athletes (ATH), and though they may work, you want guys for the positions you need to fill. The Russell Top 100 is nice for late in the season, checking where the top guys went, but it's not a good way to find guys you need. I say just use the Database. You let shoulder button should filter between the postions, while the right one filters by state and Canada; not much reason to use state filter unless your team is that desperate and needs anyone, which may happen. First, you need to press the button at the bottom by your school's name which will bring up the team needs (you can also find these in many other areas). If you need six players, then recruiting will be easy; if you need ten, your job just got a lot harder. Keep in mind you can flip between offense and defense, and don't let a kicker or punter go un-noticed if you need one. *NOTE: Remember, if you made a recruit, go find him. Too bad if you forgot his name.* Just stay on offense, and if QB/HB/FB/WR/TE are needed, go and filter the list to each position and pick a handful of guys from the list. Be sure to scroll through the list for any guys will green dots under "status" as that means they kinda want to go to your school. But also keep in mind of their star rating; if worst comes to worst, you will find tons of 1-star guys that will go to any team. You want guys as high up the list as possible. To make sure you are picking guys that will be easier to grab, look at their "Interest" guage to see if they are willing to play for you at all. If the bar is about a third full, tag them. Of course go through all your positions on offense and defense. You can only have 35 guys, and no matter how many want to play for you, you only have 25 scholarships to offer. MAKE SURE you have at least two guys for each position, and be aware that you may need more than one for any position - in which case go get more of those guys. Once you have a couple of guys for your needs, if there is any more space, go find some top recruits and get them on your board too. You probably won't get more than a few top recruits, but you can at least try. One last thing before you tag a ton of 4-5 star guys, if you are a lower school you will notice that your green-dot guys are only 1-3 caliber players. This means you are more-than-likely out of the running for the 5-star kids, but you may target a few 4-stars, and mostly you will need to set your sights on 2-3 stars for now. Look, if you are a lowly school, this is not a sprint. It's called a DYNASTY, and no one expects you to take Army and make them the national champion this year. You can do it in one year if you manually play all the games, but even then it's an up-hill battle. And before I go too deep, just know that you can only recruit players that want to play for you, period. Recruiting Board ---------------- In the pre-season all you can do is change the ranking of players on your board. I want you to look at the INT, interest, value and see where that player has your school. Put all the guys that say 1st on the top, and then 2nd and 3rd and you get the point, I hope. Then take the kids with N/A interest values and stick them on the bottom, unless you really really want them, in which case you keep them at the top since they will be hardest to win over. The interest means how committed the player is to your school RIGHT NOW, not when he is deciding a school or where he will go. At this momemt it is just what he is thinking about with no schools coming after him. So guys that already think highly of your program are easy to get, and also possible to lose to higher powers, but at least they already like you. So change the ranks of the 35 guys on your board in descending order of their interest, excluding anyone you want really bad (keep them at the top). You don't have to get their ranks perfect, just move high interest guys up to at least the top 20, and the N/A guys to the bottom. Of course lowly schools will probably have boards of ten or so guys that want to go to your school, and then a bunch of guys who are N/A. No matter how many you have, please order your N/A guys in descending order based on their caliber. Remember, you should have all the guys you need on this board, so any order will work. You must also be aware that you will not get all of these kids. Sure, with smart recruiting you can get most, but the higher your standards, and even targetting 3-star kids, the more likely another school will scoop them up. Even on the low level, it's bottom-feeders against bottom-feeders, so you'll have to be smart if you want the guys you want. *NOTE: You may be thinking, what about higher ranked players and better stars and all that. There is no way you can think about a players caliber when your school stinks. Heck, even top schools can't win over all the top players. You need to stick with interest on their part, not yours.* Once your board is ready, exit this screen and go to redshirting. Redshirting Players ------------------- You may be like me where you've heard of redshirt players and kinda assumed it meant they sat out a year. Yes, that is what it means, but there's a bit more to it. For one, you need your best players on the field, especially if they are seniors. You also need backups at each position, 5-6 WR's, 4-6 CB's, 1 kicker, 1 punter, and then at least two of everything else. So if you have a lot more than you need players at a few positions, then you can redshirt some. However, it's best to only redshirt freshmen or sophmores. Why? Well because redshirting means that player cannot play this year, but they can still play for four years, meaning they are on your team for 5 years max. So the perfect redshirt candidate is a freshmen (FS), that is in the low 60's or is just not needed to backup. A bad situation is when you have 5 HB's, most seniors or juniors, one low year guy, and all of them are in about the 70's. Keep the best guy if he's a senior and then redshirt any of the 1-2 year guys. It's best not to redshirt more than two players at any position, and you can usually redshirt a guy at each position, usually; not if you only have two on either line. If a player has a (RS) next to their year, then they've already been through this and cannot be redshirted again. Keep in mind you can take off the RS of any player during the season, but you can't put it back on them again. If you're not so keen on the positions, here are my minimums for each: QB - 2 HB - 2 WR - 4 TE - 2 FB - 1 LT - 2 LG - 2 RT - 2 RG - 2 C - 2 LE - 2 RE - 2 DT - 4 LOLB - 2 MLB - 2 ROLB - 2 CB - 4 FS - 2 SS - 2 K - 1 P - 1 You don't want to redshirt juniors or seniors, but you can if don't need that players skills, or he's just not that good. You don't redshirt freshmen when they are extremely good for that position. But if a freshman is 76, the second best at that spot, and a junior below him is 74 or so, then it doesn't make a big difference if you redshirt the new guy; unless you really need his skill- set, the junior is fine. One key thing to keep in mind is that there is such thing as special teams, the team of players that hits the field between possessions. These squads are made of the second and third stringers, with top players in there too. So sometimes you may want to keep more than the bare minimum, but it's hard to tell who makes the special teams. It's not a big deal, just something to consider. It's tricky, and each team and each year is different, but you need to keep a pulse of your future. Again, keep your best, redshirt the extras and new guys. Depth Chart ----------- Should be a shoulder button to auto-re-order, which is wise if you've put the redshirt on some players. The guys at the top will be your starters, with the guys below them as backups or as the next in line (such as the WR). Redshirts are out, and you'll see them in your substition list at the bottom. For the open slots you can fill them yourselves. The only position I worry about is whether or not the fullback (FB) is fast. I would replace a slow one with a fast TE if there were extre TE's, but that may not be the case for you. Again, just let the computer fix things up and you're good to go. Custom Schedules ---------------- Most of your games are set, the ones will locks by them, but you can select any other game and change it to another team that is free for the week. By pressing left or right you will change whether it's a home (vs) or an away game (at). The main thing to keep in mind is the "Strength of Schedule" rating at the top. Any A means that if you win 10 to 12 of your games, you have a good shot at playing for the national title. Anything less means you depend on the season and going 12-0 in order to play for the big prize. Please make an A schedule if you are a good team. If you are a bad team, you should shoot for a C- at the least. Your goal is to make a bowl game, which doesn't mean you can be the #1, but at least you'll have had a good year. Of course you still have to win those games, so don't think you can schedule top teams and walk into the title. Your default schedule should be about where you want to go, but feel free to put in a team in the top 25; maybe a 20-25 school at the most. Please, don't put in the Bulldogs or OU unless you want a game you are sure to lose. Set your sights low and things should work out. As a low team, you just want to make a bowl game, no matter which one. Let you skills as a football player decide which top 25 team you select. Also, if you know nothing of college ball, most of the teams not in the top 25 are still pretty good. Then again, teams in the top 25 may turn out to be terrible. All you can do is play the teams you play, what those teams do is out of your control. Now exit, save your changes to the schedule, save your game (should be the left stick), and then start your season. ============== Regular Season REGS18 ============== So now you're ready to play, maybe. If you just want to recruit and sim games, that is fine. If you have the CPU recruiting for you and you want to sim the games, that works for me too. If you want to do it all, keep reading. Basics of Recruiting -------------------- Go to your recruiting board and get ready to go after some players. This is your weekly routine, so learn it well. First, let's look at the basics. INT - This means how the prospects looks upon your school, not how many interceptions he will throw/get. If this value has a 1st, then the guy is probably committing to your program. Keep in mind that when he commits depends on this next value. Stage - Top 10, Top 8, Top 5, Top 3, and then over. I would be the first to admit I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure this means what schools they are deciding between. If it's top 3 and their INT is still 4th or N/A, then I'm pretty sure you have no chance at getting them. I know this because you never get a guy that has you any lower than 1st in INT. So really, the stage doesn't matter so much as INT, and if the guy isn't warming up to you, check his stage and consider dropping him off your board. CH - Change is either a dash or a arrrow point up or down. A dash means he has not improved his feelings toward you, and the arrows mean how you are dropping in his interest. If it's staying the same, but he still has interest in you, you can still change it. If you're falling late, perhaps it's time to give up on him. Visit - This is either N/A or Ready. If he's ready you can call him and schedule a visit to your campus. You need to pay attention to this for all the players on your board (even guys not on your board can be ready), and get a visit planned ASAP. Don't put everyone in a visit on one game, but please get them to come early or else they may lose a ton in interest in your program. Offers - Yes, No, soft, hard, tot, and none are the values here. If a guy has no offers late, offer him a scholarship and he's likely to commit. If he's got ten early, good luck getting him. Soft means the kid is leaning toward that school, and hard means he has committed to you or someone else. And that's it. Aside from his caliber and position, these are the values you need to keep in mind. As the season rolls on and you add/drop players from your board, you will need to consider rankings and their caliber. But assuming you have the players' interest in your program first, you are off on the right foot. Week 1 Recruiting ----------------- Here is the main portion of this game, maybe even above or on par with the football stuff. Think of it as a board game within a real game. You need to win this game more so than the games on your schedule, especially if you plan on having a true dynasty; the games will handle themselves, or maybe you can have a hand in that too. Stay on your recruiting board and go down your list. Select your top prospect and select the Quick Call option. Select either 30 or 20 minutes, depending on how many of your 10 hours you want to spend on him, and also offer him a scholarship. You may want to spend 45 minutes (which is 30 and then 15 for offering) on top players that aren't very interested in you, and then 20 mintues (with the offer included), on the guys already into your school. It's a good idea to get the top 15-20 guys offers as soon as possible. You may notice after each call you get a "Results" window that has "Pitch Results" and then a list of items. We will discuss these later in detail, but for now just know that the mores pitches you unlock early, which means spending more time with guys, the easier it will be to reel them in. If you spend 20 minutes on guys, then you only unlock one pitch since you only had 5 extra minutes to talk, but sometimes this is your best option, especially early. Now big schools can go hard after top guys and then lightly entertain the rest. Smaller schools need to spend 20 minutes max on each guy and offer them spots because your board will probably fill up with players that commit elsewhere. You could maybe just go hard after a few guys, but that is a big risk if you can never get them to warm up to you. You better just go for quantity, not quality. So you've spent all ten hours making these offers. There is no more you can do but edit your rankings, but no reason to do that now. You are done with recruiting for this week. ----- As is the case for every week, after recruiting you should save, look up the headlines and news, maybe eyeball the Heisman watch and other things of interest. And when ready, go play/sim your week so you can get to the next week of recruiting. Remember not to pass over a week because you need all the time you can get. Unlocking Pitches ----------------- The key to successful recruiting is to find out as many of these as you can. You do this by either quickcalling or calling directly. Quickcalling is the way to go as you don't have to do all the work yourself and you may learn more about a prospect. When calling directly, which you only do when you set up a visit or are hard selling your pitches, you shouldn't try to do too much during these calls or the player will get mad. You'll notice the football head that displays emotions up top. That guy isn't crucial, but a happy player is more likely to warm up to your school. Talk to them too much and they will lose interest, so only unlock a few pitches and then hang up. But the majority of the time you will use the quickcall to get as many of these pitches unlocked as soon as possible. These pitches affect the interest of the player and will be crucial in them having a good visit. The best amount of time in a quickcall is 30 minutes, especially if you have 20 or so players you really need/want. Smaller schools probably need to spread out the time more and spend 20 minutes a player. I hav en't really explained pitches, just how to get them. But that is because you don't use them just yet. Here are the ratings the player has for all of the things you can pitch: Most Very High High Above Average Average Low Very Low Least There are two "verys" and one least and one most. The others can vary, but you usually can't do much with those anyway. Individual School Ratings ------------------------- Top schools need not worry, all of your ratings for these are great or higher. Lower schools need to pay attention to the things they have to sell their prospects. Since you can't talk to a player forever, you really just need to find his two "Very Highs" and his "Most." Compare those to the ratings of your school in that area. If you have "Elite" or "Excellent" congrats on the committed prospect, usually. But if the players interest and your school's rating have a considerable distance between them, than there is a problem. Before we go too far, here are the areas of your school: Academic Prestige Campus Lifestyle Coach Experience Coach Prestige Conference Prestige Championship Contender Athletics Facilities Fan Base Pro Factory Program Stability Program Tradition Television Exposure And here are possible ratings: Elite Excellent* Great Very Good Good Fair Sub Par Poor *Not sure if this order is right or if these are all of them. I have seen at least once where an Excellent along with a very high went sour. The key is to match your ratings with the player's best interests, especially on his visit. If you don't sell him his Most interest, then if another school can do better, wave bye bye to the prospect. If you sell and sell him things he isn't interested the most in and you never see his interest change over time, best to cut your losses and drop him from your board. Week 2-4 Recruiting ------------------- Most of your top recruits and lower ones will display "Ready" on their visit value, and that means you need to call them directly and plan a visit on a week as soon as you can. They may need a lot longer for a visit, or they may never visit, but it's usually around this time that you will get a visit for them. During these direct calls you should also spend some time unlocking more pitches and interests of the player. Just ask about 2 or 3 of the unknown interest in a pitch and then move on. Keep him mind you always want to leave the player as happy as can be. *NOTE: If you schedule a visit in the current week, you may want to talk with them about two pitches or so and then schedule so you can get a better idea of what they are interested in when you schedule activities.* ----- You should also move around prospects on your board. I like putting the guys that want visits on the top. I know you would think guys interested in the program don't need to be paid so much more attention, but at least for now it helps you know what players are most interested in playing for you. Smaller schools should look for 3-star guys showing any interest and move them way up the board as 3-stars will improve any lowly school. Again, bad schools need to offer as many scholarships as possible, spending 20 minutes a quickcall to get players interested. And remember, when deciding where to spend the last couple of hours of your time, consider the remaining players' caliber. For my lists I Also keep in mind the players you haven't talked to. Perhaps just spend 20 minutes with them and offer them scholarships if you have the time and if you want them. If a player has six offers and his interest never changes, it could be precious time wasted if you call him. Here is how I like to order my board according to priority: Top desired players - 5 star players out of my league, just one or two. Level of interest - Players with "1st" are at the top of my board, and if they drop them they stay there in case it goes back up and to know the guys on the edge. Basically they can only go up, not fall. Need - Someone I need at a position, and thing I overlook a lot because there is so little time. Just know your team has needs, but getting good in other areas is not bad either, and you can usually pick up any body to fill a position at your own risk. Least number of offers - If I'm the only one to offer the kid a scholarship, then maybe he'll gain some interest over time Players not interested - These are the ones that you take the "wait and see" approach; if they never change, drop them after a few weeks If the computer is helping you, you may notice some recruits will be missing or added to your board, and if you have no help some guys may just go off of it. So keep an eye in the upper corner for how many recruits out of 35 you have, and then maybe go fill the gap with a new prospect. One last thing, don't forget that if it doesn't seem like you can find a good player to fit that position, look for the athletes, which always pop up when you perform a search. Small ATH's will tend to be corners, receivers, and maybe runners. 200 pounders will fit into FB, TE, LB spots, maybe. And then the 250+ pounders can go on the lines, maybe. There isn't really a "size matters" idea for players at a position, but you can always compare a guy to that position and see where he fits in in the off season. ----- Remember, just quickcall at this point. Big schools can focus on their top 20 players and go hard after them, spending 30 minutes or so on them. Smaller schools may need to spend 20 minutes with everyone just so you can get your hands on as many players as possible. You will never be able to talk with everyone for the amount of time you wish, but it's a long season and the best thing is to focus on the guys you need, then talk with the guys you want. *NOTE: To sim to bye weeks, just sim through the week you are on, because choosing the bye week only gives you the option to go through it, and you don't want to miss a whole week of calling.* Selling, Swaying, and Finding ----------------------------- You have three options when calling a player over the phone directly. But first you should know that there are two other factors in play. One is time, and if you keep in sight the counter at the top of the screen, it will go down when doing an action. Sometimes it just goes a few minutes, and at other times it just keeps going. The goal is for the "Pitch Complete" message to pop up in the upper corner, which means you've learned the player's interest in that area. Once you find his level of interest, if there is a lock by his interest of that area then you can only sell that pitch to him. If it is open that generally means you can perhaps sway his mind on the subject. Swaying is the same as pitching, where it can take a varying amount of time, but the result is either success or failure. A good sway means he'll have more interest in that area, and a failed sway means you just wasted your time. I would say only sway if your school offers good quality at that spot, otherwise don't waste your time. I've even seen good sways DROP the rating, so be careful. *NOTE: For long finds/sways, it may be best to cut it off when the player is most happy, as it usually just goes down with the more time it takes, but the result is you still don't know his position on the area. I wouldn't go so far as to say write down the incompleted pitches because you just want the player happy.* The goal of finding his interests is so that you can sell them to him, and also plan activities, and maybe even make a promise. You are looking for his two "Very Highs" and the "Most" out of him; otherwise you need to keep finding his interests. Conversely, once you find these three you can usually stop, but only if your school meets those needs, otherwise you'll need to find his "above average" and "high" concerns so you'll have something to show him. Hard selling is to make that football face smile big (with teeth showing), and that means the kid is buying into your program. If hard selling isn't working, you'll need to sell something else or find other pitches to sell. Trust me, it's easy if you're a big school. One important observation I've made is that the difference among his level of concern and your school's rating in an area is that it takes longer and usually ends badly. For instance, if you are selling him a pitch that is most important to him, but your school is "fair" or "average", then it usually takes 30 minutes to hard sell and the end result is he is unhappy. I don't have a clear grasp of whether it's the difference or just his highest concerns, but no matter what you want the "Pitch Complete" sign for a good pitch to raise his interest. *NOTE: Sometimes you can learn a little bit on the player's position when trying to sell or sway in the phrase he offers at the top. If he says "I could go either way" on a subject, it doesn't mean a sway will work, just that the option to try is there. I've never seen a bad sway work the next time, but maybe it's possible.* Keep in mind, even an extremely happy player could never sign with you if you are not the top school on his list. It's never a good idea to sell him his top concerns if you are not very good in that area. Visits ------ You schedule visits as soon as the player is ready, and you want to set it on a week when there is a home game, best if it's one you can win but any home game is fine. *NOTE: You can find out one of their likes when you pick a week. At the top will be a phrase that reflects what they are interested in. Something like "could we talk over dinner?" is a sign they have Coach Prestige way up on their list of concerns.* During the week of the visit you will be reminded of players coming in. You do not need to call them directly, just select the player and then set up three activities for him to do. These will reflect the pitches you've unlocked as you want them to do things they are most interested in. If you scheduled a week not when you set up the call, then you can quickcall them for 20 minutes or so to unlock more pitches, then set the activities. You could even guess as to what the player may be interested in. Perhaps you don't know a pitch, but your school/team/coach is elite in that area, so it may work to set that up. Even better if you've unlocked the things he's least into as the rest can do no harm, or at least you have a high chance of hitting a good one. If the visit is a success, and top schools usually have good visits by default, then it helps the kid decide. The game played, whether home or away, doesn't seem to have a big impact on your letter grade, which is displayed next to the visit column in the next week. A visit isn't required, but it surely helps, and then it's better to have a high rated visit then a bad one. If you want a great visit, simply match his top concerns with your best offerings. And if you can't, then expect lower grades and him to commit elsewhere if another school can do better. *NOTE: Bad visits don't mean the player is lost, just that it will be easier for him to commit elsewhere.* Wee 5-8 Recruiting ------------------ Most of your prime recruits and the ones most interested in you will have already had a visit, but of course you need to keep an eye on visits until the season is over. Before and after the visits, or just constantly if a visit never happens, you need to be quick calling and getting info on these kids. It's about week eight or so that you should start calling them up directly and hard selling their biggest interests until they have your school on top. If unsure, a key move would be to continue to quick call until they move into Top 3 in their stage, as it can get a bit stupid when calling them directly - losing time for no reason and such. Now, it is wise to hard sell a pitch when your school has poor quality in that area? No, it isn't, so you need to hard sell the best of what you got compared to his top most concerns. Let's say he most wants early playing time, but there is little chance of that. But if he has a "very high" interest in the campus life and your school is okay at that spot, then hard sell that. Keep in mind the emotion football at the top. It's best to hard sell just two items a call, keeping in mind how long it takes for a pitch to complete, as you don't want to waste his and your time. But I hope you realize not to start talking directly until you have unlocked a lot of pitches, and even if you call a player you know little about, feel free to find a few pitches and be sure to keep him happy. Long talks are never good. *NOTE: If you spoil a call and he's mad, hopefully you can quickly hard sell a top concern to leave him happy.* ----- More importantly, this is almost your last chance to add players to your board that have the best chance of joining. If you notice those players with no interest in you no matter how much you call, remove them from your list and go find some other guys that aren't at the top 5 or 3 schools for their decision. When going to pick up more players to add to your board, keep in mind someone may have gained interest in you (green dots), and if you add them and look at them on the board, perhaps they have no offers. Spend 20 minutes and offer them a spot, it's sure to go over well. *NOTE: I sure hope by now you know how to filter out players by position in the database, that you don't have to comb through the whole list at once. If you use the search function, be warry of those ATH (athletes) because a 191 lb kid would not make a good lineman.* It's not "panic and go get 1 or 2 star guys" just yet, but that time is close. You don't even need to re-evaluate your needs at this point (assuming your board was set up right), you are just still trying to get the guys you've selected. *NOTE: A good piece of advice when searching for new prospects is to see their top three schools. It may take an advanced knowledge of college football, or just some American geography lessons, but if the recruit is from Texas and his top schools are Texas, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech, that's the red flag that "proximity to home" is high on this momma's-boy's list.* Also, some guys will start committing, maybe not to you but they could now or even before. They could also not make up their mind until after the season, so don't panic on any one guy. *NOTE: Keep in the back of your head that there are players you can commit that you do not need, such as extra HB's, QB's, WR's, and the such. Remember, extra guys can flush out your special teams at the least.* Late Season Recruiting ---------------------- So powerhouse schools have a handful of commits by now, while you low schools are still putting in hard work to get those 3-star guys. Some guys will commit, some won't, so all you can do is stick with guys that are still thinking about you - how sweet. *NOTE: It's still a good move to just quick call guys still at Top 5 in their stages. Remember, when it says "Soft" on their offer tab, it's your last chance to change their mind.* Now you really need to weed out the guys that have no interest in your school. Guys with N/A interest that have been given scholarships and have been called a few times can be dropped from your board, and there should be anywhere from 5-10. Also keep an eye on players' offers from schools and caliber, all relative to your school. If they have 4 offers, no interest in you, and they are a 4-5 star kid - connect the dots and realize they do not want to play for you. Now you need to set your sights lower, or just change them to other kids of the same caliber. Go to the database when you have spots on your board and still base your picks on kids with the highest, no matter how slight, interest in your school. Do not look at how the player ranks against other players at the same position. That doesn't mean go to the bottom of the board and get 1-2 star guys, just have your sights set down a wee bit. And I hope you remember you have needs, which should still be atop your boards no matter what. When you have new guys on the board, you should have a good number of them with no offers. Usually just giving them a spot will make them commit, but it's best to play it safe in case some other school offers to him too. You can choose to go hard or soft after these guys as they likely won't get many, if any offers. Just maintain the recruiting routine and keep in mind it's on hold during the bowl season, probably because each school would have different starts to the post season. But you're not done with recruiting just yet. If by the end of the season you got the guys you want and need, then the rest is just a few extra dolla' bills in your wallet. Don't forget to go get players at other positions. Like if your school only needs linemen and defensive guys, now would be a good chance to get some sexy offensive players, or even kickers and punters. *NOTE: This game constantly offers few players at the fullback and both kicking positions. Something to keep in mind if you don't need any of those.* *NOTE: Before the season ends, consider seeking out a few guys on the Russell Top 100 that have yet to sign. Don't go hard after them, but maybe they and you are meant to be. Think about it.* ========== Off-Season OFFS19 ========== Off-Season Recruiting --------------------- So the season is over, and either you won a bowl game or not. Regardless, recruiting is not over. Now we enter the off-season with just a handful of weeks left to pick up guys that have yet to commit. Your board should still be pretty much full from the season of recruiting. Anyone that has yet to commit will now have a few more options to get them into the fold. Please note that you exit to the "Recruiting Central" screen to advance in the weeks with the start button. Transfers --------- This is the first thing and I only got a transfer when I was a 1 star school, so I don't know how this works but the guys just need checkmarks by their name and you can advance and you get them. It takes one scholarship, but for position guys like a HB or QB, always grab them if they are of high caliber no matter what, usually. In-Home Visits -------------- Under Visit most will have "Ready" just like for when the players flew in during the season. This visit is much more personal as you will be flying to visit the player. If they are ready, call them directly and schedule a visit, usually on the current week. Just like the other visit, also place three pitches you'll try to sell while visiting. Luckily, there is a list of the values and how they match up when selecting them, so no need to try and remember what they like most. Remember to always schedule the players you are battling for first. Usually it's after a visit that players with you high in interest will commit. Sometimes to get guys that are soft committed to you, just visit them. Promises -------- These add a whole new dimension to the game and your dynasty. For one, it's easy to make them and get the prospect to sign, but it may be a bit harder to keep up with each promise as time goes on. I would say only use promises over recruits you are battling to get. There is no sense making a lofty promise to a guy if you're the only one who's after him. To help this you have a Promises window in your recruiting tab. It's best to just make a few promises, but you can make more. You unlock more as time goes on and your prestige grows. For every promise, make sure it's something within reason. It's stupid to promise early playing time to a freshman at a flooded position. And saying "no redshirt" now is easy, but it could cost you when you need to redshirt guys. Again, you'll just need to pop into the promises screen to see your performance on these. ----- If you didn't realize, now is "go grab 2 or 1 star guys" to fill any needs you failed to address in the normal recruiting time. You have five weeks to get whatever is left of the bottom-dwellers. Also, you may start getting mass commitments from recruits, and then you'll start seeing your available scholarships go down. You can only grab 25 prospects, and some may not make the team, so just keep that in mind. One of the oddest things is when you have guys that have never had interest in your program. By now you should have dropped the ones that had no interest in you, ever, and had multiple offers. But there may be one or two guys that have only gotten one offer, you, and they have yet to warm up. You could go after them with direct calls, but only if they are good players. They tend to be hard to talk to, so maybe wait until week 5 to call them up. Another oddity is when you go to find prospects and then you see a couple of 4 star guys that are not committed. By week 4 you can add them to the list and offer a scholarship, and who knows. By now you really don't need all your time anyway. Of course the less offers for these guys the better. Soft commits can get tossed as soon as you see the word. This is the only time I would recommend seeing the Russell Top 100. Remember, recruits with 1 offer, you, and have "1st" in their interest column do not need to be suited anymore. Again, feel free to grab other prospects for other positions if you have the space. One last thing, for week 5 feel free spending lots of time for quick calls before visits as this is the last week of recruiting. Keep in mind that if they do not commit, and even if they have had 1st interest in you from the start, they are not on your team. Sorry, it makes little sense. Position Changes ---------------- This is one of the funnest things to do, and also one of the worst if you mess it up. This is mainly for your athletes, but you could take guys from similar positions and move them over to another. You simply select a guy, move him through the positions and see how his Overall rating compares to the proposed positions. If there is an increase, stick him there; if there is a slight decrease but it needs to be done, do that too. If you are short at a position and need to slide some third-stringers over, here is a handy list if you are not familiar with football even now: Offensive Linemen - LT, LG, C, RG, RT Defensive Linemen - LE, RE, DT Speedy, weak guys - WR, CB Smaller, strong guys - FS, SS Medium, strong guys - LOLB, MLB, ROLB Medium catchers/blockers - TE, FB, HB Cannot switch (usually) - QB, K, P Again, these are just good spotters if you are overflooded at one position. Middle linebacker to either outside spot seems to improve a guy, and it could be possible to mix and match all linemen, but I highly doubt it. Sometimes you have guys with similar body types that could switch to a whole new position, like a power running back to a defensive end. But these kinds of changes are probably not wise at all. Your best bet is to change a right outside linebacker to the left, or however it turns out so that your overall LB squad is as good as possible. Training -------- You just see the results of automated stat boosting. Don't freak out if you think you are short players at a position, this will only show you the guys that improved. They will have moderate or minimum improvement, and there is only one player that gets the "Most Improved" tag, and if it's the kicker that may not be a bad thing. You should never see the player on the top of the list be passed up, FYI. Cut Players ----------- You can only have 70 kids on your team, and if you are already below that, then congrats, you are done. If not, then you will have to cut out the bad players from flooded positions. No need to cut players you don't need to. Just in case you are wondering, if you have 69/70, you are good. Pre-Season ---------- And then it all comes full circle. Feel free to start at the top of this FAQ if you need help with this and onward. ***************************************************************************** * 5. Football ( PLAY555 ) * ***************************************************************************** A lot of this section is subjective on my part. This is what works for me, and if you find yourself losing using this advice, feel free to use what you think works best. Ha, a game about football and we are just now getting into how to play the game! But it's true. This guide is not supposed to be about how to play, but I feel like I'm good enough to share my knowledge of the game. Golden Advice ------------- It's just like basketball, baseball, and other sports, you can't always play lights-out offense, but you can always show up and play shut-down defense. If there is any part of your game to improve, it's most likely defense. Sure you can't win unless you score, but good defense is like good offense, and the opposite is true as well. There are a million reasons to play bad offense, but not many for bad defense. Before You Play --------------- Know your team first, or at least know your key players. The players to know about the most in order: QB, HB, TE, FB, CB, DE, LB's, and who returns kicks and punts. Let's break down why I think what I think. *NOTE: Stars under players on the field, or "Impact Player" in the corner of their player card means they are good, and usually you learn their speed in the game.* QB - mainly you need to know if this guy can run or not. If you can run then you open up options, scrambles, QB runs, and all crossing/slant routes. If your guy can't run, well, best to learn how to pass within 3 seconds, which is usually the guy in the flat. Pocket passers need top wide receivers or life is tough. HB - You got big backs and small guys, and then there's speed and power. You could look into which moves they can do (spin, juke, stiff arm, jump), but the only thing that matters is whether your guy can run fast and catch. TE - You may wonder where the wideouts are. Well, I learned long ago that these games never will let the WR's run free. But the tight ends seem to get open quite a lot. You want a fast guy here, or at least for my advice to work. FB - No, not for his running ability, which is just a play or none at the most. We want this guy to be able to run fast and catch in the flat. This guy is your key receiver in play action, and he's usually open on most plays anyway. If you're being blitzed, 90% of the time you can press his button for a big gain. CB - My defensive schemes are 100% reliant upon great corners. Of course I get burned on a play or two, but the better the corner the better my defense can work. DE - These guys are the key to real football teams if they want to hurry the passer. They aren't primo for my defenses, but they help. LB's - You have the middle and two outside linebackers. Give me a good MLB and I'm good, but I could just as easily be one of the outside guys. If you didn't notice, this is the position I control on defense. *NOTE: Linemen and safeties are the only othe positions you could play on defense, unless you have some great TV that lets you see the whole field.* ======= Offense OFF1234 ======= There are three plays: run, pass, and play action. All have their own formations, and those formations can themselves be used to trick the defense. Ace formations favor running plays but leave open passes. I formations mean you will run and weakly keep open the ability to pass. Shotguns mean you are passing, so it's usually a good idea to really run it up the middle. Your goal is to gain 10 yards in three plays and at some point get to the endzone for a score, and if you break a big play then so be it. A successful drive makes it between both 40 yard lines. When on the 40 it may be a wise idea to go for it unless you've mastered how to punt the ball out of bounds, or keep it out of the endzone for a touchback. The biggest mistake would be to get near the red zone and not get at least 3 points. Sure, if you get to a 4th and 1, go for it, but you would be surprised in how many close games where you would say "had I only kicked that FG way back when I would have won this game instead of going into overtime" or something like that. Two field goals and one stop on defense is as close to a touchdown as it gets. Running Away ------------ The Run - You can run iso up the middle and just push forward. You may notice this usually doesn't get many yards if you keep running it. That is when you need to look for lateral runs, but only if your HB is fast. You have the stretch, the pitch, the option, the toss, counters, and the other plays that don't go straight up the middle. If your guy is super fast, perhaps you can out-run the safeties and other players to the sideline and then turn the corner to go up the field, or maybe you see a hole through your blockers and turn it up field, or maybe you feel lucky and decide to juke back and reverse your field. I'll be honest, run plays don't work that much on the highest level of difficulty (Heisman). On this level you will need to pass to set up the run. Running three straight run plays is the best way to get your punt team on the field. It's pretty simple: if you do one thing with success, the defense will counter that. You don't even need to understand how the defense counters this (not yet anyway), just know that you need to pass the ball every now and then. Thanks to the friendly audible system you can call a nice run up the middle when the defense has its guys spread out, or call a play action when everyone is crammed up the middle. ----- Here are my big tips for successful running: *Mix up your calls between up the middle plays and runs that go outside. If the defense is in man coverage, a stretch/toss/pitch will usually work really well. If the defense is spread out, like for zone, a run up the middle may be best. *Juke away from a defender in open space. If you are running in open field and a defender is running straight to you, run toward him and when he is close do a juke away. Doesn't work all the time, but speedy, elusive backs will usually slip out of the tackle and run to daylight. *Use the spin move in open space as well, but I prefer the juke. You can sometimes spin out of a tackle, but you're really supposed to spin before the defender hits you so that he flies right by you. If your spinning isn't working, maybe it's because your HB can't do it well. *Use options a lot only if your QB can run, and when running an option it's almost a must that you run with the QB. If the defense is playing man and perhaps the outside of the field is open, and unless your HB runs to block for some stupid reason, you can pitch to him with success. The fake pitch only works if a defender is 100% covering the HB. *When running through blockers, take your time, which means don't hold down sprint from the start. You need to develop vision where you see the defenders and where they are coming from. If you are running up the middle, maybe it's best to juke to the outside if the LB's are crashing in; maybe for a stretch you need to try and run to the sideline and turn the corner instead of cutting through blockers. But if there is a hole, hit it with the speed. *NOTE: Most runs on heisman are highly unsuccessful. It doesn't matter if your HB and vision is great, the defenders are just faster and do everything right on most runs. You just have to play through it.* *Juking, trucking, and spinning increase your chance of fumbling, so use in moderation during a single run. Pressing up on the highlight stick seems to protect the ball, so do that when being tackled is your only option. *Of course having a fast QB means all plays can be runs for your team, but just like in the real game, a scrambling QB can fill up the highlight reel while filling up the loss column. You need to pass the ball. *Whenever running, use your blockers. If a slow lineman is running with you as best you can, but there are some defenders incoming, it's a good idea to slow it down and not turn on the jets. There is no right way to go as the blockers could do nothing, but again, just make a sound decision rather than just sprinting on every run. Passing the Rock ---------------- The Pass - Passing can be to set up the run, or running to set up the pass. Passing is not wise when the defense is in zone coverage. Sure, there are holes in the zone, but on Heisman those holes are extremely small as the defenses are faster and your receivers are slower. The best time to pass is in man coverage, when the receiver has the defender beat and it's just a matter of placing the ball in front of the receiver, given that no other defender could intercept the ball. It's possible to pass all the time, just spread out your formations and have a wide variety of playcalls and routes, but you need to mix in runs, even small runs to open up the receivers. Ideal passing is when your blockers have picked up a blitz, which means someone is most likely open. *NOTE: If you have a run called and see defenders crowding the line of scrimmage, audible a pass or play action. The opposite is true as well.* Don't be afraid to air it out, but only wisely. Don't throw 40 yard bombs every other play because a lot of shorter routes can be expanded to longer plays with much less effort. Usually your long passes will be open in the middle of the field, but only in the area between the safeties and linebackers, and don't be surprised if those passes are knocked out of the air a lot. I like short passes. It's the same problem the Indianapolis Colts face in that defenses would rather let you nickel and dime your way up the field than let you have the deep pass. Slants, crossing routes, and posts are easy routes to know if they are open or not. Every now and then you may want to try a deep pass, but when you do, always have a few backup routes if the play falls apart. The pass rush determines your pass selection while the play is happening. It's a bad idea to look at your line to see if it's broken, but you do need to maybe see if anyone has broken through at the start of the play. If every defender has dropped back in coverage, usually the four pass rushers won't reach you for 3 seconds, so you have some time to let a route develop for a guy to get open. If defenders are blitzing, someone is open so find them and let it fly. Whether the pass rush is close or the blitz is on, having a QB that can run out of the pocket can extend passing plays, on top of being able to run with the QB. ----- My tips to successful passing: *Hesitation is the mating call of bad passing. If you see a guy open, throw it. Of course "open" means there is no one in front of him. So if a guy is open and you see him open, pass or else he won't be open for long. *To extend the first tip, most passes are open right after the snap, especially some slot routes. On a similar note, most passes are open only as/before the receiver makes a cut in the route. Reacting to an open receiver is usually not wise, it's best to trust his running and have the ball waiting in the open area. *I always love to slide my o-line around to the side of the field I like to scramble to. It's usually the side I intend my main route, or secondary route, to end up because it's easier to pass on the side of the field as the intended receiver. *Zone coverages in this game tend to stay only in their zones, which I haven't noticed in other games. This has increased my ability for deep passes as I just wait for the receiver to make his inside/outside break to an open part of the field, usually deep up the middle, and then just wait for him to be in the clear and pass. I don't know, it just works in this game. I believe defenders in zone would follow streaking receivers, but they don't or they think they are fast enough to beat the pass or something. *Never lob a pass, which is to tap the receiver's button and send the ball in the air for five seconds. On Heisman those passes will usually be eaten by the defenders as they will close in no matter how far away. And you only lob when the defender is behind the receiver. It's probably not a good idea in the underneath routes because even if your guy gets the ball, another defender will be there to stop him quickly. Best to learn how to apply some touch. *Touch is never precise, and it may not be in this game, but I'm pretty sure it is. Touch is when you are throwing a ball to a spot, rather than directly to the receiver. If your man is running a slant with a defender behind him, and the pass would hit the defender, the best thing would be to throw the ball a bit ahead of the receiver so he is the only one to catch it. To do this you simply hold the LS in the direction you want the pass to go. Again, it's not precise or exact. You can try throwing high to where your guy has to jump to get a pass in traffic, and of course his pain is only virtual. Low passes can be just as effective, but of all of this, never apply touch to make a pass worst. *Check-downs are passes to either your tight end, half back, or full back that are parallel to the line of scrimmage. They are worthless if a defender is following them, but if there is no one covering the checkdown, throw it because it will ensure you gain yards. Aside from positive yards, you extend the drive, wear out the defense, and maybe your checkdown can gain a lot of yards. *Comebacks, hitches, outs and ins, and sometimes the screens are complete garbage - on Heisman of course. Just use those routes as decoys unless you have un-godly receivers running those routes. You have a simple screen pass in your Big, Ace package, but those slip screens have a high % of failure, for really no reason at all. Use two screens a game, maybe. *Just recently I have found the short, crossing patterns to be most effective. For one, there's little risk as you should clearly know whether it's open or not. And secondly, defenses tend to back up to cover the deep passes, and that usually leaves all the short stuff open. Ace and shotgun packages will have plenty of plays with crossing patterns for either the TE or a WR. If the defense is in man, the pattern will work, usually. *Master your hot routes and sending players into motion pre-play. If the default play gives you few options, hot route a few receivers; if you sense a blitz or a mis-match, tell someone to go straight and toss them the ball the moment you see the blitz coming; and if your HB can catch, send him out there too. *A cheap way to buy time is to keep drifting back. Of course it reduces how far upfield you can throw it, but it helps buy time for short routes to get open, and so long as no pass rushers are chasing you, you can frustrate the defense all day. *The key to my offense is what I creatively call the "running receiver". It could be from my Sundays of seeing Brian Westbrook double as the Eagles' best running and receiving option. I like calling a hot route and either giving my HB a slant or fly, and then send him to the side of the field to either act as a decoy or make sure he will be open in that slant on the other side of the field. If you got a fast back that can catch, there is no linebacker that can keep up. Do this a lot against real players and you can really mess with their heads'. *Trust me, the CPU doesn't like it when you pass all over it. It's wise to start running the ball after a bunch of successful passes because you'll start to see defenders make phantom plays to intercept you. You need to believe me on this because slow defenders will start to run faster as the ball is thrown to give the illusion that they are playing good D. So please, run the ball a little. Of course sometimes you get the good bounces, but not often. Faking It --------- Play Action - If you are mixing enough runs and plays, the play action is always on the table. A play action, or PA, pass is one where you fake a run play which is really a passing play. It's a better play in real life because real players would bite on the fake, but in this game it only buys you a step or two for your receivers at the most. There is no such thing as a broken play where someone is wide open for no good reason. It's pretty simple, if it's 4th and 1 and you've had mucho success running the ball, call a PA and toss it to the FB running in the flat, or run with your QB if possible. The only time I would second-guess a PA is at the goal line where there is little room to pass, but it's possible. There is just one thing to think about when considering a PA: perhaps it's better to call a shotgun play where the field is spread and opens up the QB to run in most cases. Why? Because what defense would call zone coverage if you need a yard? The defenders would follow your guys and the QB should be free to run if not being spied. Just something to consider. ======= Defense DEF5678 ======= The goal of defense is to make the offense do as much work as possible. No, it's not to prevent them from scoring because even the worst of teams can put points on the board. So what does "do as much work as possible" mean? It means pressure. The worst thing you can do is let the opposing QB sit back there in the pocket and pick you apart. If you let him do that then what is the difference between letting them march down the field to letting them break a big TD pass? The difference is that if they score on a long pass it is because you applied pressure and the defender covering the receiver made a bad tackle. The tricky part is that on the same kind of play the QB could throw a pick out of panic and your defender could run it back to the house. Marking Your Zone ----------------- Zone Coverage - Let's get this out of the way first. On Heisman I have never had success with this. The little success I've had is when I play a defensive end and let the CPU cover the zones. This coverage means your defenders back up and defend their area of the field. It doesn't mean they are stuck there, but the scheme only works if all the defenders stick to their zones. What easily kills this scheme is that you are only rushing your four linemen and the QB can wait for a in route or any other receiver to hit the middle of the field. Even then you leave yourself open to simple run plays that will gain 5 yards by default. If you must run a zone scheme, run zones that stay on the defensive side of scrimmage. I would only run this kind of zone if it's late and the offense has burned my man coverage more than once, and all I'm trying to do is force them to run more plays and eat up clock. If you drop seven guys back in coverage it forces the offense to either run or throw a short pass. Of course on Heisman it may still lead to big gains. Don't get me wrong, if you CAN get a pass rush, play zone all the time. I've play DE and put moves on blockers that hurry the QB into bad passes. So zones can work, but only if the pass rush works. And there are a few zone blitz plays, hidden in the playbook. Man Up ------ Man Coverage - This is my primary coverage. Basic man means aside from blitzing defenders and the d-line, all other defenders will follow the receivers. If there is a speed difference between the players, it will show in no time. Of course if you give the QB time this will prove to be the worst defense possible as it will result in big gains a lot. With that in mind you should agree that rushing only four is not the best way to play this coverage. Rushing the four linemen and then one linebacker isn't good either since all plays have five blockers, and in this game the o-line blocks un-godly well. I have two plays that I run 90% of the time: 3-3-5 LB Ram Dogs and 4-3 Free Fire, both plays that rush six defenders. To spread the defensive line of scrimmage it is easy to shift the line to one side and the LB's to the other. Against option-heavy offenses I simply spread out the line and keep my LB's off the line scrimmage. Now for the meat of it all. LB Ram is my base formation, and I only use Free Fire if the offense has short yards or is pounding the running game. You would be surprised how effective the 3-3-5 is against runs on heisman, even 3-3-5 zones work every now and then. So why do I run LB Ram Dogs 90% of the time? It's simple, this is the only way I can create pressure against heisman level offensive lines. *NOTE: I hope your realize 3-3-5 is strong against the pass, so if you survive the first two downs with 5 or so to go, then your chance of a stop are very good.* There are a few other parts to my scheme as well. As mentioned I like to shift the d-line around or the LB's. I tend to pinch the line and move the LB's to one side, the side where the blockers are less. The other part is the coverage audibles. Against bad receivers I almost always send the coverage to press. This means that the defenders will do their best to stay close to the many receivers. The best case scenario is that you hurry the QB to throw a bad pass and your defenders are close enough to the receiver to pick it off and run it to the house. Trust me, I've pulled this off many times with as bad a defense as Army, so I don't need to tell you the blowouts I've had using OU. The scheme is flawless if pulled off correctly. As far as runs, only straight up the middle works, and even then a lineman usually pulls off and tackles the runner. Options, screens, and lateral runs fail 99% against this defense because the LB's are running from all sides. I play the MLB in this scheme and I rarely sack the QB, nor do my other five rushers. But the point is to create what I call "false pressure", which is the only kind of pressure against heisman o-linemen. False pressure means the QB probably would have had a few more seconds after a thrown pass, but the sight of six guys coming at you forces a quick release. Alert defenders near bad passes have easy shots at INT's, but more power to you if you can take control of that defender and make a play on the ball. Don't forget you can make moves blockers when they get you. The sure-fire way to force a pass is to unblock off a blocker. *NOTE: A nice way I've found to open myself up, or at least cause more confusion in the o-line is to put the MLB on one side of a DE, and after the snap pull and rush inside. It usually lets someone get free if not you.* The second thing I do, and probably only possible against the CPU, is to see the playart and look for bad match-ups. As the MLB I have power to drop back to any coverage I want. When the offense spreads into the shotgun and there are two WR's on either side of the offensive line, it usually means a quick in/slant route over the middle would be golden if I rush. But what if I fake the rush and instantly commit to an interception over the middle? It's a gamble, but all defensive schemes are. What I tend to fall for is a curl route for the outsdie WR, which usually leaves the middle of the field open. It's all just learning on your own, but sitting on the middle of the field certainly isn't the answer. The worst thing to happen is your corners are slow or beat the press. Even then it requires a perfect pass to get the ball over the defenders, stupid defenders, or a broken tackle or ten. Trust me, for all the 60 yard TD's you give up you will get three picks for TD's of your own. Sometimes it's best to let your CB's play loose on fast receivers if they are beat a lot. A quick note for 4-3 Free Fire. I pinch the line and then place the MLB between the DT and DE on the opposite side from the other blitzing LB. This creates a tiny gap and usually causes confusion among the o-line and forces a quick pass. For all quick passes, and to help you play defense yourself, it requires a split second decision to switch to the defender near the receiver and then press the swat button. If you have good position you can attempt a INT, but swatting the ball yourself is probably more than the CPU version of that same defender would do. ----- Of course I'm not forcing you to play what I play, it's just a suggestion. The default defense is the 4-3 cover 3, which sends defenders to defend all possible plays, but if a receiver finds the soft spots in the zones they can march right up the field if your front 4 are blocked well. Another relatively safe defense are cover 1's, where a safety is a backup to defend deep passes as everyone else is in man. An extremely safe defense is anything that has cover 4 as it usually ignores the flats. Sure it's weak against runs, screens, and flats, but at least your defenders are spread out. Defenses I hate are anything involving cover 2. You leave too many soft spots unless you have the fastest secondary on earth. I also hate prevent defenses as cover three is usually good enough. I can safely say I haven't seen a deep completion against a 3-3-5 cover 3 zone. Even if you want to defend a deep pass it is better to vacate the middle of the field to blitz, which forces a completion that and so long as someone tackles the catching receiver it will waste clock. There are a ton of defenses to stop the run: 4-4, 5-2, 46, and so on, but I prefer the 4-3 Free Fire to all of those, and I think you will too. ============= Special Teams SPT9012 ============= Special teams is when you are changing from offense to defense or defense to offense, or salvaging 3 points from a promising drive. Special team players are just the extras on your team, with some starters mixed in. Kicking the Bucket ------------------ Kickoffs are done after you score points, or at the start of one of the halves. Keep the default angle in place, or only aim a bit higher if you have a power kicker, but only ever so slightly. You also kickoff if your team gives up a safety, and for those you may really want to aim high. Field goals and PAT's are the same as far as kicking. The default angle of these kicks is best for kicks from the 20-30 yard line, maybe. The golden rule of kicking in video games is to aim a bit low, but not parallel to the ground. Low kicks increase distance while raising the chance of being tipped. Of course you need max power for all kicks, but low kicks with anything beside max power is sure to fall short. There is little risk of a tipped or blocked kick in video games, so don't count on it for low attempts. As far as defending field goals, well, all I can think of is crashing a player to the middle to possibly cause a bit of confusion in the blocking. But unless you see the guy run free as the kick is up, he will usually not do anything. And a guy will go unblocked once every 100 games or so, so it's safe to say I haven't pulled it off in this game. Other games sure, not this one. Punting?! How Sad... -------------------- Yes, punting is the mating call of losing. Punting the ball means you have no plan on offense and are terrible at playing - sorry, but it's totally true. You punt the same as kicking, but unlike kicking you are sending the ball to a guy that only has to avoid two or so tacklers and your punt will only have a net total of a few yards. So it's best to punt with a high arch, if the punter has a lot of field to work with. The opposite is to just punt out of bounds and deny a return since there is no penalty for it. In fact, if deep in enemy territory and too chicken to go for it on 4th down, then maybe try to punt to the 5 yard line out of bounds. This is called the "coffin corner" as the offense is highly likely to punt the ball back because of fear of passing. When aiming for the corner, it's not aiming to the sideline or directly to the corner, it's just about getting the ball to crossing the sideline as going out of bounds at the desired point. These punts, or just punting out of bounds in general, are best with low arching punts since you add distance and accuracy without caring how long it takes for the punt to get there. But again, punting means you need to quickly re-evaluate your offensive gameplan. As far as defending a punt, there is no penalty for pulling an lineman back before the punt. Why do this you ask? Well, I've never seen a blocked punt in these games, but I see terrible blocking on every play. Sure one extra blocker in front of the punt returner could be more trouble than he's worth, or maybe it buys you a few more yards. ***************************************************************************** * 6. Glossary ( GLOS666 ) * ***************************************************************************** This is not in alphabetical order by the way. These are just the terms and things that people who haven't played football won't know about, or just to help people with the lingo or new terms. I know there is probably a lot I've missed, but all I want are the things that are crucial, not the things that are too deep or not used often. ========== Recruiting REC25 ========== Terms ----- School ratings - The ranks of your school in several categories from "Poor" to "Elite". Pitch - Keys to getting the player to play for you. If the player's top concerns do not have quality ranks in your school, it will be hard to get him. Rank from "Least" to "Most". Find pitch - A quick attempt to see the player's interest in something. Go too long and he may get mad. Sway pitch - An attempt to get the player to think higher in one concern than he did before. Usually fails, and I've even see it drop after success. Only do if you must get it higher. Hard sell pitch - After you have his highest concerns, start selling him the best relative to your school's quality ranks. Interest - The main element if the joins you or not. If this is not "1st" then he will never commit to you. Sadly, this can go "1st" all season, but if he doesn't commit to you before the pre-season then he won't be on your team. Change - Just a green arrow, red arrow, or dash to tell you how much that player's interest in you has changed. You only ignore players with you in 1st with a dash by them, and then maybe players with green arrows. Visit - Some players will visit and some won't. Good visits help get a player in. There are two kinds of visits, fly-ins and in-home. He comes to the campus on fly-ins, and you go to him on in-home visits. Stage - It goes Top 10, Top 8, Top 5, Top 3, and then commit. This is a sorta gauge to determine if you can or can't get a player. It's not definite, so I think it's a stupid system. Offers - Will say "yes" or "no" if you've given him an offer, the number of offers he has, or none if he has no offers. The more offers means the less likely you'll get him. Soft, he's almost certainly going to that school Hard, he's committed to that school Database - List of all the players in order of ranking overall. You can filter by position or state. Search - You can change many values from position to stage to find the kind of player you need. Pipeline - Players that come from states your school commonly recruits from and are easier to get, usually. Russell Top 100 - A list of the top players available. Usually players reserved for top schools. ATH - An athlete that could be whatever you need him to be, but pay attention to weight on these guys. Redshirting - Sit a player for one year to let them play for a fifth year in order to help them develop, or when you are loaded at one position. Transfer - Students from other schools that are coming over. Best to accept them as it's like a free recruit. Signs ----- *These are by a player's name in the "Call" column Phone - You haven't called him yet. Slash sign - You called him. Clock - He's ready to come visit you, or you to him in the offseason. Plane - He's coming in this week so set some activities, or you are going to see him. X - He's committed to someone else, so drop him off the board. Checkmark - He committed to you, but can't be dropped off your board, probably since you only have 25 offers to give. ================ College Football CFB26 ================ Heisman - An award that is reserved for the best of the best players, usually on winning and top tier teams. Awards - Just many awards for almost all positions. I don't want to list them, but you'll have to be spectacular in those areas to even have a chance of getting them. Defense and special teams are easy to win though if you get picks and return kicks/punts. Top 25 - Rankings from both media and coaches polls, then computer rankings. Being in the top 25 is the only way to get into the BCS and most bowl games. Probably garners more media attention for your team as well. Toughest places to play - Just the places that are hardest to come into and play as the visiting team. Headline news - The top news from ESPN that gets national attention. Campus news - Top stories about your team only. Player of the week - There is an overall and conference player for both defense and offense. Impact Player - A player that can have a big affect on the game and garners media attention for awards. Captain - A player that is tops on your team. Conferences - The different divisions in the game. The power of one conference to the other usually determines BCS teams and rankings, since you play more teams in your conference and can only play a few out of conference. Invitations - If you are a bad team and suddenly become good, you can climb the ladder until you land in a top conference. Bowl games - Even at the most unknown bowl game, getting into one means a good season. 7 wins make you bowl-eligible, but don't confuse these nice "everybody" wins games with the BCS games. BCS - These are five bowl games that let the top teams go at it. No, it's not a playoff (which IS a bad thing), there is just one game that qualifies as the championship game. You only make the championship game if you were ranked either #1 or #2. Here are the BCS games: Sugar Bowl Orange Bowl Fiesta Bowl (OU upsets and all) Rose Bowl BCS Championship Game ======== Football FOB27 ======== Rules/Terms ----------- Coin toss - Flip of the coin to determine who starts with the ball. The visiting team calls. The team that starts on defense gets the ball to start the second half. Downs - The offense has four downs to gain 10 yards, barring any penalties. If the offense fails, then the ball is turned over to the other team. That is why a team either tries a field goal or punts on 4th down. Playclock - A smaller, secondary clock that counts down the time you have to snap the ball. Quarter - There are 4, each taking 15 minutes in real life, usually just 5 in video games since there is no need to huddle and such. Half - The time between 2nd and 3rd quarters. Notable because unlike between the other quarters, the possession and placement of the ball do not carry over. So the end of the 2nd quarter is played much like the end of the game. Overtime - If the score is tied after the 4th quarter, an overtime is played. It is sudden death in the NFL, where the first team to score wins. In college it is a series of "red zone plays" where each team has a chance to score and the first team to fail and match the other will lose. Two-minute warning - A timeout in the NFL at the 2 minute mark at the end of each half. NOT a part of the college game. Touchdown - Having the football cross the line of the endzone. Worth 6 points. Point after try (PAT) - A short kick after a TD worth 1 point. 2 point conversion - Instead of the PAT, run a normal play worth 2 points Field goal - A kick through the goal posts worth 3 points. These are best tried from a maximum of around the 40 yard line on the opposing team's side of the field. Safety - When the offensive player with the ball is tackled in their own endzone. Worth 2 points and the ball. Line of scrimmage - The line denoting where the ball is, and neither player can cross it before the play. After the snap, the QB cannot make a pass after crossing the line. Endzone - The opposite end of the field when on offense. Redzone - The area between the endzone and the nearest 20 yard line. Getting the ball into this area means you should at least put up 3 points. Sidelines - The sides of the field. The clock is stopped when the ball is run or thrown out of bounds. Fair catch - When fielding a kick/punt, wave your hand in the air so that when you catch the ball you will not be tackled. The ball cannot be advanced, so only use when defenders and closing in. Touchback - When you wave your hands in the air when fielding a punt/kick in the endzone, when a player takes a knee in the endzone beforing running out of the endzone for a kick, punt, or interception, or when the ball is kicked out of the endzone. The ball is placed at the 20 yard line. Being down - The play ends when a player is down or goes out of bounds. In the NFL a player is down by contact with a defender and when on the ground. In college once the player is down on the ground, the play ends and you cannot get up. Pocket - The area behind the offensive linemen and between the tackles. The QB cannot throw the ball away while in the pocket. Receiver limits - Aside from only have 5 possible receivers, there can only be three receivers on either side of the center. There must be seven players on the line of scrimmage, something that doesn't affect gameplay in this game. Secondary - Any corners or safeties on the defense. Strong/weak side - Refers to the side the QB can see, and usually used in blitzes. Of course since it doesn't matter in a video game, these terms don't mean as much. Slot - When a receiver lines up anywhere between the o-line and the outside WR's. Strong receivers at this position can spell nightmares for thin secondaries. Penalties --------- False start - When an offensive player makes a move like the ball has been snapped. 5 yards. Offsides - When a defensive (offensive too) player is caught on the wrong side of the line of scrimmage as the ball is snapped. The play will still go on. 5 yards. Holding - When any player holds a player. 10 yards, replay down. Intential Grounding - When the QB throws the ball out of bounds while still in the pocket. Place where the foul occurred and lose of down. Pass interference - Contact with a player after five yards from scrimmage. Ball is where the contact was made. Usually never called, so get used to it. Delay of game - Offense letting the play clock expire. 5 yards. Face mask - When a player pulls another player's face mask. Illegal block - When a player is blocked in the back who is not the runner. Clipping - Blocking a player below the waist who is not the runner. Kick out of bounds - When a kickoff goes out of bounds. The ball is placed on the 40 yard line. Player Positions ---------------- Quarterback - The guy who takes the snap from the center and will either hand the ball to a running back or try to pass. If he is tackled behind the line of scrimmage it is called a sack. Scrambling QB's are a must if you lack strong receivers or tend to hold the ball for a long time or lack a good o-line. Halfback - Takes the ball from the QB and runs. He can also block or run a route like a receiver. Running backs can be speedy or powerful. Wide receiver - Tall and fast players that catch the ball. Fullback - A bigger player that is used in I formations as a blocker for the running back. He can also run the ball and even catch passes. Tight end - Bigger wide receivers that catch passes in the middle of the field. This is because they line up at the ends of the offensive line. Because of this they can also block. Center - The middle offensive lineman that snaps the ball. Offensive guards - Two offensive linemen on either side of the center. Offensive tackles - Two offensive linemen on the ends of the line. Defensive tackles - Defensive linemen that bring pressure up the middle. Defensive ends - Two players on the ends of the defensive line, usually the fastest linemen that provide the pass rush. Linebackers - Three by default, one middle and two on his side. They can cover, stop runs, and blitz. Cornerbacks - Speedy defenders that cover the WR's. Safeties - Two defenders that are meant to protect deep passes, or cover TE's or extra WR's. Kicker - Player who kicks field goals or kickoffs. Punter - Player who punts the ball without the aid of a tee. Kick Returners - Two players near the endzone that run back kickoffs. It is sometimes wise to not return kicks out of the endzone. Punt returner - One player that returns punts. Will often need to fair catch. Offensive Plays --------------- Kickoff - Kicking the ball to the other team between at the start of halves, and after scoring points. You are kicked to after a safety. Punt - Usually a 4th down play when beyond the 40 yard line of the other team's side of the field. Punts can be kicked out of bounds and the ball is placed where the ball left play. Fake kicks/punts - Onside kick - During a kickoff a team can kick the ball short in order to try and recover. The kicking team can only touch the ball after it travels ten yards. If the ball goes into the air without touching the ground, the fielding team can fair catch. Run - When the QB hands the ball or pitches it to the HB/RB/FB. Pass - When the QB drops back and passes the ball forward. An offense can only forward pass the ball once. Play action - When the QB and HB fake a run play to open up a pass. Best used after many successful runs. Block - The O-line are blockers only, but on some plays the receivers are just used as blockers. During a run, any friendly players can be used to block defenders. Option - When the QB runs with the ball and has the option to hand the ball off to the FB, pitch to the HB, run with it, or sometimes pass. Not wise if the defense is spread out. Flea Flicker - When the runner runs to the line of scrimmage, then tosses the ball back to the QB who passes it, usually to a wide open man deep. Not seen in this game. Draw - When the QB drops back like a pass, but hands the ball to the runner. Best used when the defense is expecting a pass and is spread out. Defensive Plays --------------- Man Coverage - The defenders either attempt to read and play the route of a receiver, or just follow them. Zone Coverage - Defenders back up into zones on the field and defend from that zone. Strong against the pass if there is a pass rush. QB Spy - Is one player that anticipates the QB running. They are the tiny orange circles when selecting a play. Mixed Coverage - A few rare plays offer both zone and man defenses. Prevent - These defenses drop all except a few linemen back into coverage. Used only to defend a lead in the closing seconds of a game. All-In/Max Blitz - In this game it's called "Engage Eight" where all but two corners and a safety blitz. Not wise against the CPU. Tackle - The tackle is the end of an offensive play, that or out of bounds or a TD. The sooner you bring the ball-carrier to the ground, the less yards they can gain. Blitz - When any player on the defense other than the linemen rush the passer. Key to applying pressure on the QB if you lack a pass rush (which you always do on higher difficulties). Blitzing can be beaten if it is expected; usually with a fly pattern to the TE. Pass Rush - The basic rushing of your linemen, usually the DE's. A good pass rush means you can focus your other players on other assignments. Bad pass rushing means you'll need to blitz to apply pressure. No pressure and an average secondary allows the offense to pass all the way down field. Sack - When the ball-carrier is the QB and he is brought down before gaining yards or passing the ball. This shortens the downs the offense has to work with and of course forces them to gain more than 10 yards. Pass tip - Simply when a pass is batted out of the air. Sometimes leads to an INT, but mainly just an incompletion. Similar in theory to a sack. Incompletion - Aside from dropped balls, the defense can force an incompletion if the receiver doesn't establish control of the ball before dropping it, otherwise it's an fumble. A forced incompletion is when the receiver is hit immediately upon catching, usually while jumping. Interception - When the ball is caught by a defender. The defense and offense prior to the INT will change sides and the interceptor could score a TD, even lateral the ball. Fumble - When the ball is in control by someone and is dropped before the ball-carrier is down. The ground cannot force a fumble. Touchdown - A defensive TD is the best way to win a game. Defenses that can get INT's and score will allow the offense to be as bad as it needs to be. Three and Out - If the offense fails to score and must punt, then the defense has essentially forced a turnover if the ball started around the offense's own 20 yard line. Goal line stand - Once the offense reaches within the 30 yard line of your side of the field, the objective is to prevent a TD. A stop on the goal line is almost like the defense scoring 4 points in that 3 points is all a highly successful drive comes away with. Safety - The ultimate defensive play is to score a safety worth 2 points. This is because the offense who allowed the safety does not get the ball back. Formations ---------- Ace - The base formation with two TE's, one HB, and two WR's. Doesn't give the defense any indication what you could be running as you could do any play. I-formation - Uses a HB, FB, and then any combination of TE's and WR's, usually more TE's. Offers many different runs and play actions. A good counter if the defense is expecting run is to pass. Shotgun - The QB stands a few yards behind the center and the ball is long- snapped to him. The shotgun offers the best passing plays, but weak at running and play action; offenses with running QB's can run anything from the shotgun. Shotgun also helps fend off blitzes as the QB is standing farther from the line. Strong/Weak - Usually a kind of I-form that places the FB to either the right or left (strong or weak relative to the QB's vision). Goal line - Variation of Ace formations that can place extra linemen at the tight end positions and make them eligible to receive a pass. These are exclusively runs or play actions, and of course should only be used when you need a yard or so. *If you see these numberings when picking a play, 3-3-5, it means linemen/ linebackers/secondary players. 4-3 - The base formation. It denotes the base four linemen and three linebackers. This formation is used to block either passes or runs. 3-4 - A less popular base defense. It means three linemen and then four linebackers. It's not necessarily to strongly stop the run. It's best used with speedy LB's that can cover, but also to blitz as the offense will have a harder time knowing where the blitz is coming from. 46 - Same as the 4-3, only the strong safety plays next to the LB's. Strong against the run, but can also be ready for the pass. 4-4 - The SS of the 46 is replaced by a LB to commit to stopping the run. Nickel - Any formation using 5 defensive backs (safeties and corners). These heavily favor the pass, but you also spread the field for lateral runs while not completely abandoning the run. Dime - The use of 6 defensive backs. Only use late in games to preserve a lead or prevent the deep pass. Quarter/dollar - Defenses to use an extra safety/WR to specifically defend hail mary's. Goal line - Adds and an extra DT, drops the safeties, puts in more linebackers, or many other combinations as there is no need to defend a deep pass. Kicks - Just your basic kick formation. You could also try a run or pass, but only if you have the players to do it or think you'll pull it off. Keep in mind the CPU in this game defaults to safe man plays. Kick defenses - You either run with everyone or go into a safe formation where guys are ready for a fake kick run or pass. Punts - A few variations to protect the punter, but they all work the same since the only way to block a punt is if someone busts through the middle of the line in these games. Punt defenses - You can either plan a return or block. Returns are good between when the offense is punting from their red zone or anywhere after. Blocks are okay on the goal line and when the offense is punting from deep into your territory. Kneel - When there is just a minute or so left, you are on first down, and the defense is out of timeouts, this play means you win the game, so long as you keep kneeling until time runs out. Pre-Play -------- Hurry-up - Quickly getting to the line when short on time. Spike - Toss the ball to the ground to stop the clock, when the game is almost over. You lose a down. You can fake, but that works best in the real game. Fake snap - An attempt to get the defense to jump before the snap. Works against the CPU if you have been snapping the ball at the same time for many plays. Overuse this and you can get your own guys to jump. Jump snap - If the offense is snapping at the same time, or you are willing to gamble, you can jump the snap as a lineman or LB and get ahead of the snap. Instead of reacting to the snap, you are going with the snap. Playart/Coach's Cam - The ability to see the play routes and schemes on the field. Easy to use against the CPU, and can be bluffed when playing in person. Could even be used to create a fake snap against live opponents. Motion - Moving a player from one side of the field to the other. Keep in mind you can only have three receivers on one side of the field, and if there is motion in the play (green lines), then you cannot call another. Audible - A call to change the play from one to another. This game allows some pre-set audibles or quick audibles that do not change the formation. You can change the set audibles in the options of the game. Can be done on either side of the ball. Flip Run - For a run play, change its direction if you see a weakness in the defense on one side. Hot Routes - Calls out one player to run a different route. You can call more than one of these and combine it with motion for completely new plays based on the defense given. The defense can even run these, or if you play a blitzing position you can just do what you need to change. Quiet/Pump up crowd - Defense will pump up the crowd and the offense can quiet the crowd to affect how much noise the crowd makes. Crowd noise can have an affect on audibles and playart if you are losing. Slide Protection - Moves the offensive line to one side or tells them to pinch or spread out. Defensive line shift - Moves the d-line to one side or pinch/spread. Linebacker shift - Moves them, tells them to blitz, or puts them in zones. Coverage audibles - Tells all pass defenders to play in many different ways. Moves ----- *There are stats for all of these in each of your players Juke - You run toward a defender and then slightly jump to the side away from him to make him more likely to miss you. Spin - You spin around to make the tackler go right past you. You must spin in the right direction, and you need to spin at the right time. Sometimes works as you are being tackled. Hurdle - Good for bigger backs to use as guys will sometimes go for your legs more often. It's a risk on other guys since being in the air raises the chances of fumbling. Stiff arm - You stick your arm out to deny a would-be tackler who isn't coming at you strongly. Best to use when running parallel to a defender or when turning a corner. Highlight stick - Just raises your likely hood of breaking a tackle. Good if the other moves wouldn't help you. Catch - Ability of the receiver to catch, and if you do it you must in the right position. Pump fake - Faking a pass as the QB to make the defender jump the route. Lateral - Hand or pitch the ball to a nearby offensive player if he is in a better position to run the ball. A dropped lateral is a fumble. Dive - Jump to the ball-carrier, but from too far away the tackle could fail, or a spin move would avoid it. Only use when the defender is pulling away or he's coming at you to at the least slow him down. Intercept - Only good catchers can intercept, as poor intercepting defenders will maybe get in the way. Swat - The defender just tries to knock the pass down, which is best for all defendes to make the pass miss. Strip - Attempt to make the ball-carrier fumble the ball by force. I've never seen it work, but you are free to try. Strafe - Just makes you stay looking forward as you move. Good if you want to break on a pass, but makes you easy to run past. Hit Stick - A high hit on little guys could hurt them, and a low hit on big guys is an easy tackle. Power/Bull Rush - On a blocker, this move drives into them. Finesse move - On a blocker, this move will either spin or swim around the blocker. Hands up/Bat ball - On a blocker you will stick your hands up if you will not reach the QB in time or are in his passing lane. Routes ------ Fly/Go/Streak - Run straight up the field, and aside from outrunning the CB, the route can be used to draw the safety and CB to leave open some of the field. A handy hot route for TE's or slot receivers if you sense a blitz. Drag - Runs a few yards and turns around to the inside to catch the ball Hitch - Fakes a deep route to just turn around and take the ball Fade - Use against press coverage to beat it and have the ball in the air as the receiver is breaking free. At good route to throw the lob. Curl/Come back - Receiver runs straight up like a fly route, then turns to catch a ball. Best used against man coverage, but you have to pass before the receiver turns around. Wheel - Receiver runs to the sideline, then up the field. Not very well executed routes in this game. Slant - Receiver runs at an angle up the field. Useful for blitzs when the LB's are coming. Also useful in sending receivers to the opposite side of the field. Sluggo - Fake a slant and then run up field. Flat - Any route that stays parallel and within a few yards of the line of scrimmage. Usually the "check down" if the down field routes are covered. Swing - I believe this is any route that fakes a flat and then turns it up field. Post - Run up the field about 10 yards, then cuts to the inside of the field at an angle. Corner - Same as the post, only to the sideline. Best to use touch to the far outside or these will always be tipped on bullet passes. In/Out - Run up the field then turns either to the inside or the sideline. Used to be the best routes in games, but hard to get off in recent EA titles. Crossing - When the receiver runs parallel to the line of scrimmage to the other side of the field. Can be short or deep. Slip - These are blue routes when choosing a play. The receiver, usually a TE, will block and after a short time run a route. Best used to counter aggressive defenses, or as a checkdown. Screen - When the HB and some of the offensive linemen run along the line of scrimmage to receive a pass. The idea is to lure the defense to the QB and then pass to the HB who will run up the field using the linemen as blockers. Best used against blitzes, but have a low rate of success in this game. Can also be used as slip screens. Flanker screen - Same as a normal screen, but for a WR. Much more risky than a normal screen. ***************************************************************************** * 7. Author Info / Copyright * ***************************************************************************** ------- Credits Wikipedia - for some glossary help ----- ----------- Please contact me if you need any help, if you want to praise me, if you want to talk, or if you want to ask a question. ***Please have 'NCAA 09' in the title. Or anything to show it's not spam.*** My email: lunatic_252000@yahoo.com Extra points for good spelling, and the easier the question is to answer, the more likely I'll reply. Which means the better you set me up, the easier it is for me to knock it down. ----------- ----------- I have other guides floating around too. They are: Resident Evil 4 Dead Rising Gears of War Lost Planet Crackdown GRAW 2 Rainbow Six Vegas TES IV: Oblivion Shivering Isles Knights of the Nine The Darkness BioShock Halo 3 Half-Life 2 HL2: Episode One HL2: Episode Two Call of Duty 4 Assassin's Creed Mass Effect Advance Wars: Days of Ruin Perseus Mandate Sam & Max Episode 203 Devil May Cry 4 God of War: Chains of Olympus Rainbow Six Vegas 2 Okami Grand Theft Auto 4 Condemned 2: Bloodshot Metal Gear Solid 4 Alone in the Dark (360) -------------- --------------- I've also been published in GamePro magazine, June 2007. Pretty cool if you ask me, and all because I write these little guides. Also, I am in the October issue as well, which should be out at the time of this guide's release. At least I ain't a one hit wonder. In a nice surprise, I didn't even know I was in the March 2008 issue of GamePro, but I am. Maybe I'll be in more I don't know about... Look to Gamerhelp.com for a slew of other articles written by me in the featured article section. ---------------- ---------------- Here is my list of sites: GameFAQs (main host site) GameSpot GamerHelp IGN OCModShop.com TheGameReviews wiredgamingcommunity.com gametower.org SuperCheats GamesRadar CheatPlanet CheatCodeCentral (cheatcc.com) GamersTemple (http://www.gamerstemple.com/) gamerevolution.com cheatingdome.com unlimitedgamer.net and more here and there, too many to keep up with and even a few foreign ones too! *NOTE: There are many more with single guides, and then others with a few, and some that I just don't keep track of.* All other sites must ask permission if they want this. All I ask is that the guide be ad-free and in this text format. And if you want to make a donation at my site for hosting a guide, that is fine too. ------------------- -------------- Here is my website: www.thechaosuniverse.com You'll find all my other guides here too and perhaps something else you may like. ------------- --------- COPYRIGHT --------- This guide may not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright. All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their respective trademark and copyright holders. Copyright 2008 Brad Russell