Following the weekend of “Monster Saturday” I knew I had to write a piece about NCAA Football 11. Now, I usually don’t like to play my own card, but I am fresh off a tournament victory so I feel like I should impart some knowledge on the rest of the world.
As a disclaimer, I did play as my favorite team the Ohio State Buckeyes. In the college game it really helps to have a fast quarterback. If you don’t believe me look at Denard Robinson of the Michigan Wolverines. The man has had over 400 yards of rushing in only two games. That’s how you beat a contender like Notre Dame.
Getting back to the previous point, the running game is the most important part of the college game. This is why the playbooks utilize plays such as the option. To win a NCAA football game you must master the offensive forms. If you can run jukes, fake pitch on options, utilize the spin and pitch with the right timing not only will you control the clock but you will control the game.
The passing game in recent years has been risky. The AI makes throwing a lot more difficult than that of EA’s NFL counterpart. Quarterbacks are not as aware, have weaker arms and throw far less accurately. What would be a completion every time in Madden could result in a serious overthrow or a slightly left throw directly into the defensive back’s hands. To counter this throw short routes across the middle of the field and to the flats to quick receivers or running backs and let those yards after catch pile up. If you can run the football then receiving downfield becomes much easier because the AI tends to cheat the safeties up after you play your smash mouth style.
Defense is just as important. Again, unlike in Madden, you can actually play defense in this game. Reading routes and jumping them is a skill easily acquired. Since most DBs in the game have stunning speed all you have to do is get under the ball and press that user catch button and you may have a pick six on your hands.
However, the most important part of defense is getting to the quarterback. If you can get in that backfield your game plan becomes much easier. Prepare to blitz most plays because taking a linebacker out of coverage to go after the quarterback is always a good idea, especially since they lack coverage efficiency. Plus, that takes away a lineman to block your big defensive end. This will usually lead to more sacks and run stopping.
All that’s left is special teams. Again, if you know how to run the ball you will do fine. Just protect your sidelines on kickoffs and punts and make sure you place the kick properly.
That is basically all the tips I have for the beginning NCAA player. So have a good season and maybe you will win a prize like I did!