With EA touting “wide open game play” in NCAA Football 09 it is a good time to discuss playbooks and how this year might be a return to glory with college football gaming.
By now most of you have probably played the demo to death. What you got a glimpse of is how money the underneath passing game is going to be in NCAA Football 09. What you probably didn’t get a good chance to try, with the quarters being so short, was the ground game.
Take a team like West Virginia, clearly one of the nation’s most potent offenses and soon to be a team that will be overused online again. Imagine how deadly the option out of the shot gun will be this year with Noel Devine and Pat White running things in the WVU backfield. A team that relies so heavily on underneath routes in the passing game is built for NCAA ’09. Throw in the deadly new slip screens and wide out bubble screens and “watch out!” as Lee Corso will soon say time after time in your dynasty.
The new running system, which puts emphasis on the analog juking system, will be relied upon heavily this year. Power running teams like Ohio State and Penn State are ball possession mongrels, and will make prey out of their lesser opponents on the schedule. The game now rewards players who find their holes in the running game, keep their shoulders square to the line of scrimmage and avoid bouncing it outside all the time. And there are plenty new I formation plays to tackle with these types of teams to choose from to help you out if you play that style. And when it finally comes time for the knockout punch you can use the play action to crush the opposition’s dreams.
Just like real life some teams add complexity with simplification of their playbooks.
Whether you are running that pro style USC offense or the Wildcat with sophomore sensation Shady McCoy of Pitt, you will have plenty of ways to keep your opponent on their heels if you open up your mind and playbook this season. And if you still are stuck in the Tecmo days and only like calling the same 3 plays, well EA has your back this year. Just like real life some teams add complexity with simplification of their playbooks. Hence running the same play out of multiple formations, giving different looks each time to the opponent and causing fits throughout the season.
Sure you will see the same draw play in every shotgun and every tight package under the sun, but now you will be able to attack more with those formations as well. If the other team has bit on the screen pass 3 times already and is expecting it maybe it is time to show a new look and whip it out one more time on third and long. Go to the single back trips and make them think you are launching a downfield attack only to drop back and plop one ever to the land of blocker as you pick up a clutch first down.
The possibilities are not endless, but they are greater in number as opposed to years past. Trying new teams or new playbooks for your favorite team will be something that will help keep this games allure lasting well into the fall.