NCAA Football 09More guides, cheats and FAQS
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*NCAA Football 09*
NCAA Football 09 FAQ
For XBox 360, PS3
Version 1.4 (8/9/08)
Written by Brad Russell "TheGum"
Version 1.0 - could translate PS3 to 360 controls, and I will add in the
football section, but the core is finished.
Version 1.2 - did the 360 translations and added the football section. I sure
hope I know what I'm talking about.
Version 1.4 - added some fixes and small things, and also recruiting cheats.
Table Of Contents
Use Ctrl + F to quick find in this guide.
1. A Brief Foreword
2. Controls( CON2222 )
3. Starter Tips( TIPS333 )
4. Dynasty( FAQ4444 )
Pick a SchoolPIAS16
5. Football( PLAY555 )
6. Glossary( GLOS666 )
7. Recruiting Cheats
8. 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
* 2. Controls ( CON2222 ) *
This is the most comprehensive controls section I've ever made, so you better
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
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
*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)
*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
*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)
*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)
Pitch/Lateral - L2 (LT)
Fake pitch - L1 (LB)
Fullback (triple option, hold at handoff) - X (A)
*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
Switch to receiver - O (B)
Catch - TRI (Y)
Diving catch - SQU (X)
*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.
Of course after an INT or fumble, normal running moves apply.
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)
*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
*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
*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
*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
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
<while engaged with blocker>
Bull rush - R1 (RB)
Finesse move - L1 (LB)
Hands up - TRI (Y)
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
#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
#10. A fun way to play heisman is to change the sliders to the CPU to 30 and
you to 70, of course on the defense and offense only. Some may think it's cheap
or whimpy, but on base heisman it's clearly advantage CPU, and even with these
sliders the CPU will get away with stuff still. At least this way you can
have something that resembles real football.
#11. I never play the 2 pt conversion on odd scores. Great if you can score
everytime, but I would rather take my 1 pt and then worry about cruncing #'s
* 4. Dynasty ( FAQ4444 ) *
NCAA Football 09 Dynasty FAQ
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 SchoolPIAS16
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
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
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.
First we need to select some high schoolers that will be your targets to join
Create a Player
*NOTE: If you are into cheating, there is a section in this guide for it to
help you in recruiting great created players.*
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
Week 1 Recruiting
*NOTE: If you are into cheating, there is a section in this guide for it to
help you in 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.
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.
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:
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:
And here are possible ratings:
*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
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
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
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
*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.
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
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
*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
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
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.*
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.*
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.
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
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
*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
*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
*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 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
*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
*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
*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.
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.
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 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
*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
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
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 on 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
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 there and so long as someone tackles the catching receiver it will
There are a ton of defenses to stop the run: 4-4, 5-2, 46, and so on. 4-4 is
your best bet, and there is a LB Fire play there too if you like to blitz.
What I have learned as a better way to defend runs is to play 4-3 Cover 1.
I still play MLB and yes, that means I play man coverage myself. Seeing your
playart will show you who you cover, but just looking at the field you can
see how the DB's line up against the receivers, or whatever, just know who you
have to cover. Now instead of lining up to show blitz, I just stay where the
LB's usually stay, which is about 5 yards off the line, and as soon as the
snap goes I see what my man is doing. It's usually the HB, so if he is running
I'll be ready to follow on his cut, but if he's staying back to block I can
drop back to play zone on a vulnerable part of the field. Of course the HB
can be in a slip route, so you have to be aware of that, but it's all a gamble
and you should correct your errors in time.
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
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
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.
School ratings - The ranks of your school in several categories from "Poor"
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
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.
*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
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.
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
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
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:
Fiesta Bowl (OU upsets and all)
BCS Championship Game
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
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
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.
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.
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 - Only wise when the opponent is committed to a block set,
otherwise you'll need a good runner/passer. Surprisingly, the CPU gets
away with these more than is possible.
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. Keep in mind you can lateral beyond
the line of scrimmage.
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 many playbooks 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.
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
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
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
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/
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
*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
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
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.
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
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
Swing - I believe this is any route that fakes a flat and then turns it up
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
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
* 7. Recruiting Cheats *
These are some tips given by a reader, not my own. These are certainly some
great tips if you are using a 1-star school. Again, not my words.
Not sure if you already knew about this, but here's something you can do with
recruiting to get better prospects to come to your school...
1st) make a guy who is awesome in all of the categories you want and then make
him an offensive lineman with no blocking ability. This will let you recruit a
1 star phenom. Offer him a scholarship the first week (because nobody else
will). Then change his position before the start of the season to the position
2nd) If you are doing your own dynasty, here is also another major secret that
I haven't read about on this board so far. This can take a while, but will
definitely increase your chances of landing a prospect 10 fold. Here's what
you do... Start pre-season recruiting like normal and get all the people you
want on your recruiting board (I normally recruit the players who have me in
their top 10 interest level who have the highest rating). Usually I recruit
about 20-25 guys and let the computer set the last 10.
1) Make sure to save your dynasty as soon as you have your recruiting board
the way you want it.
2) Next, call the prospects and "find pitch" on the recruit until you find the
thing they are interested in most, and their 2 very highs. Keep trying to get
as many pitches until they hang up on you. Once you have done this there's no
need to try to find their interest level in other areas because they will all
be either low, average, etc.
3) Create an excel document, word document, piece of paper... whatever is the
best way to organize your recruits and what their interest level is.
4) The first week you will probably only be able to get through 10 or so
recruits. Sim to the next week and continue to do this until you have most and
2 very highs for your recruits.
5) Quit your dynasty WITHOUT SAVING after you have written down what their
most and very highs are and reload your dynasty.
6) The recruits interest level stays the same for each category, so hard pitch
either their most or very high (whatever your program is stronger in) for each
of the categories you have already written down earlier. No need to find pitch,
since you already know what it is.
7) Now you don't have to waste valuable time by trying to unlock what their
interest level is, so you can get through more recruits and get to pitch to
their highest interest level every time.
* 8. Author Info / Copyright *
Wikipedia - for some glossary help
Aaron - for the recruiting cheats
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.***
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.
PS - To GameFAQ's users, if you like the guide, click "recommend" at the top
of the guide, but only if you like it.
I have other guides floating around too. They are:
Resident Evil 4
Gears of War
Rainbow Six Vegas
TES IV: Oblivion
Knights of the Nine
HL2: Episode One
HL2: Episode Two
Call of Duty 4
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
Sam & Max Episode 203
Devil May Cry 4
God of War: Chains of Olympus
Rainbow Six Vegas 2
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)
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.*
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Here is my website:
You'll find all my other guides here too and perhaps something else you may
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Copyright 2008 Brad Russell