• Hello Guest. We are upgrading the server's XenForo versions. This has to be done in stages. 1.5.18 ---> 1.5.23 ---> 2.0.0 ---> 2.0.12 ---> 2.1.0. I will likely upgrade each one and leave it for a day or so to see if there's any kinks. When moving from 1.x to 2.x, our add-ons will cease to work. Much of the functionality of said add-ons is now native within XenForo 2.x, so I don't think we'll miss much if anything. IF we are, we can try out new 2.x XF add-ons.

NCAA Defensive Discussion

cobb05

New Member
#2
Play in a dynasty. At least I know the people playing and it isn't as bad getting ripped off by some random glitchier in a random online ranked game. I play in a dynasty with some of my buddies and we try to make it as real life as possible. By that I mean we try to develop entire offensive schemes and recruit to that. None of this crap where you only run like 5 money plays that do not correlate with each other. I know a lot of guys play in leagues on here. I use online ranked to test some schemes out before playing my user games in my dynasty.
 

TXHusker05

Well-Known Member
NCAA Moderator
#3
Defense really isn't futile, it just takes far more effort to make work than offense. It takes a ton of recruiting and quite a bit of user skill. I've been going through trying to redo my defensive playbook to see if I can make something work.

Want to keep my 425/Nickel hybrid, but I also want to find a way to integrate a Bear front into it as well. Maybe 46.
 

bjc

Butt Naked Wonda
#4
No, it is pretty futile.

Just to get it to be near-serviceable (and here I use "serviceable" very loosely) takes quite the adjustments, and when everyone and their mothers are going up-tempo11!!1323422r3 it's pretty much impossible to get the looks you want, since EA doesn't allow for the quick adjustments to be made on defense like you can the offense.

You can try to spin it any way you'd like but the defense is so fucked it's not worth playing to me. The only way you can do much of anything is hope your man coverage holds up, and you'll still get torched for nearly 500 yards passing if the opponent doesn't get stubborn.
 

TXHusker05

Well-Known Member
NCAA Moderator
#5
I don't seem to have much problem playing defense with the right personnel on the field. The problem is getting the personnel. The only game I've played recently where I felt I had no answer was against Bruin's air raid. I couldn't sit in my base 425 because my safeties couldn't hang with his slot WR and TE and I couldn't sit in Dime because it opened up his run game. Bruin really, really hammered away and took pretty much what he wanted.

In retrospect, I should have swapped my two impact corners inside against him and I think I would have had a lot more success but I didn't make that adjustment and like you said, you can't make those quick adjustments on D like you can on O.

That said, I've had a lot of success on D recently. I shut down Navy's ULL team and Best's Washington State team in BSCFL with a VERY mediocre Texas Tech defense last season.

I agree that defense becomes nearly impossible against someone that doesn't get stubborn, knows what they're doing and has a good feel for their offense... but the number of people that don't get stubborn is rare. Honestly, the only person I've played in a few seasons of all these ODs that didn't get stubborn once was Bruin and it showed. My whole defensive strategy is to force people to the air and try to force a stubborn mistake. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it happens and I can't take advantage (vs Flann in the BCS), sometimes it doesn't happen (Bruin).

That isn't too far off from real life defenses these days, just 18 teams averaged less than 350 yards against this season. In 2008, there were 55 teams averaging less than 350 yards against. That's the nature of football. I'm not excusing EA's bullshit programming, but football is incredibly offensive oriented these days. The days of 250 yards and 10 point defensive performances are gone. A good defensive performance these days might be 400 yards and 28 points, but 3 or 4 turnovers. If you don't get caught up in the yardage, defense gets a lot more interesting, in real life and in the game.

You can call it spin or whatever you want, but I've had a number of games where I shut my opponent down and I have had a few games recently where I was the one shut down.
 

bruin228

Madden Mobile Addict
NCAA Moderator
#6
The one minor thing I think they could fix that would make it worlds better is tackling. It's so bad but you have to tackle in space against the spread. If conservative ball strip/big hit did more, I'd be decently pleased.
 

TXHusker05

Well-Known Member
NCAA Moderator
#7
That's true, tackling is a huge issue because conservative tackle does absolutely nothing.

The biggest issue with defense in my opinion is that offensive players and defensive players don't have their attributes generated equally. What I mean by that is even "decent" offensive players have pretty solid acceleration and agility ratings to where almost all of them can cut hard or juke/spin. Equally rated OVR defensive players aren't generated with equal ratings. They aren't as agile, aren't as quick to accelerate and they don't tackle as well.

75 OVR on offense is far superior to 75 OVR on defense. I've done absolutely zero research on this but I would guess to match the physical abilities of a typical 75 OVR HB, a defensive player would have to be 80 to 85 OVR. Even then, I've had mediocre mid-70's HBs have no difficulty juking impact players out of their shoes. You really see that more on the offensive and defensive lines. 75 OVR OL handle 82 OVR DL fairly easily, it takes extremely good DL to really take advantage of mediocre OL. If you have a great OL (mid-80s across the board), you can dominate. Sliders can help fix some of that, but not enough.

Honestly, that is the biggest issue with defense. Not the design or the inability to customize defenses on the fly, etc but the fact that defensive players and offensive players aren't generated equally. A 75 OVR OL and 75 OVR DL should play to a stalemate more often than not.
 

bjc

Butt Naked Wonda
#8
I don't think tackling needs to be fixed. I think the worst offender in the inability to play defense is OL vs DL play.

OL has actual "real-life" tactics that they will follow in the game. Defense doesn't have any of that. Advantage: offense

Idk, there is way too much tipped in the offense's favor for me to enjoy it any more. I do have fun when I get lucky and my defense plays well (bruin and Eagle being the last two guys I played back in December/January) but it's not often at all.

In one of those games though it was fourth and inches and half of my guys got in the backfield straight after the snap, lol. He had no chance to convert.

I may have a chance at joining a program in the next few months. Looking forward to that. I will see if I can start as early as this summer, but it might have to wait until the fall.
 
Last edited:

TXHusker05

Well-Known Member
NCAA Moderator
#11
I'm going to try a Nickel based D with 4-3 mixed in and see what happens.
That's pretty much what I run now. Base Nickel and then go 4-3 or 4-2-5 depending on what personnel I'm seeing most. I really want to be base 4-2-5 but that personnel does not match up well with most of the offenses I face. SS's can't cover jack shit so I'd rather be in Nickel. I've been toying with the idea of a 4 CB package for my 4-2-5 so I could get cover guys out there, but I worry about how that will impact my ability to tackle. NCAA generated CB recruits can't tackle at all unless they are converted ATH's that could have played FS/SS.

Just finished shutting out Bruin with the new version of my defense so obviously something worked. He had some bad luck and an inferior team that didn't do him any favors either. At UNM, my Nickel is a 98 speed true freshman CB that is just a monster. That Nickel position is huge. If you get a beast there, you can do a lot of different things on D.
 

tgcmarshall

Dropped Interception
#12
I have been so frustrated with defense on this game that I nearly quit the OD I've been in since OD was introduced back in '09. It isn't the user games that are killing me. It is the auto-win that the CPU goes into every other drive. It's the "ballhawk" feature that was introduced this year that when you switch to the DB he stands completely still and lets the WR jump over your head and make an uncontested catch and run TD down the sideline. It's the lack of engagement when running into a ball carrier but somehow you missed him so he runs "untouched" for a first down when you should have had him in the backfield. It's the super QB on certain plays where he breaks 6 tackles as if he were Tommie Frazier running against Florida. It's the CB in cover three who somehow doesn't remember he's supposed to have the deep 3rd, even though he was a 99 AWR, so he just stands there then turns around to watch the WR run right by him. I think you get my point. It's awful. The worst defense I've ever seen on an NCAA game. And to me the whole "defense isn't played anymore" isn't an excuse. You still see teams hold opponents under 2 TD's every week. It happens all the time. Good defenses exist. Just ask Alabama and Michigan State.

Against the CPU I've tried everything from 4-3, 3-4, 4-2-5, 3-3-5, Nickel, Nickel 3-3-5, you name it, I've tried it. I tried controlling LB's, Safeties, and CB's to compensate for the screw ups. None of it worked. I would try to man-align when the programming inexplicably moves my left CB to the other side of the field even though I'm in a cover 2 sink. So it tries to 'auto correct' the zones and ends up having my left corner now in the right slot adopting the deep half left side of the field while the FS takes the deep right zone and the SS moves up to cover the vacated zone by the CB. The LOLB is supposed to get the far left hook zone and at this point it's a jumbled mess. If you can imagine what this looks like in the play art then you can imagine how furious I would get when it happens 4-5 times a game. At the snap the TE runs free down the seam as my left corner is desperately trying to get to the deep half all the way across the field. Wide open TD for the CPU. It's even worse with a cover 3. Lord only knows what the hell they were thinking with that programming.

So, what did I do that fixed it for me and made it somewhat fun again? I'll tell you. Against the CPU I run strictly 4-3 Cover 3. Almost exclusively. With the exception of near the goalline when I need to bring an extra backer. Then I call a cover 2 blitz. I don't run or pass commit. I control a DE every play. If they come out in Twins or Trips and my CB goes to the wrong side of the field I spread my LB's and control the open side DE and move him outside the TE two spaces and hot route to a QB contain (Y, Left Stick Down). And, sadly, it works. It shouldn't, but it does. We play our CPU Games Offense on All-American and Defense on Heisman with custom sliders. I've been doing this for 8 games now, 6 to end last season and 2 to start the new season and I haven't given up more than 21 points in a game. Where before it wasn't uncommon for a team to put up 38-45 points because the CPU wanted to.

My point is that it sucks that I have to do this. I would love to run an elaborate scheme against the CPU like I can against users, but you can't. It just isn't consistent enough of a game.
 

NavyHog

Well-Known Member
Utopia Moderator
NCAA Moderator
#13
My favorite defense is also Cover 3 except it is from 4-2-5. Taking the deep middle 1/3 of the field with the FS works best for me. We play in all Heisman difficulty so there are times the CPU is just going to shred you no matter what you do, but IMO zone works much better than man against the CPU.
 
Last edited:

tgcmarshall

Dropped Interception
#14
Cover 3 is very effective on this game but you're still vulnerable to the corner routes. The only way I've found to stop those is to user a LB or SS and cover it yourself.
 

JSU Zack

How do I IT?
#15
Best bet is to base out of a 1 high defense and just try to contain the offense. Eventually, the opponent will misread the D and make a mistake. The biggest key to winning in this game is points of turnovers since almost every game is a track meet.
 

TXHusker05

Well-Known Member
NCAA Moderator
#16
Cover 3 is very effective on this game but you're still vulnerable to the corner routes. The only way I've found to stop those is to user a LB or SS and cover it yourself.
Like Navy, I run Cover 3 out of 425 as a base usering the free safety as sort of a robber. Corner routes and some things like deep ins and curls/comebacks certainly are a weakness, but you can make tweaks to various coverages to at least firm that up. Hot routing the flat zones to hook or buzz zones. If I'm getting beat with a concept like Smash, I'll even hot route the slot flat defenders to man up the slot receivers while everyone else runs zone.

The big thing on defense is to have a plan. In my case, that is to stop the run at all costs. I don't want to get beat by the run. I usually give up a shit ton of passing yards because of it, but it is easier to force a mistake through the air than it is on the ground.
 
#17
Like Navy, I run Cover 3 out of 425 as a base usering the free safety as sort of a robber. Corner routes and some things like deep ins and curls/comebacks certainly are a weakness, but you can make tweaks to various coverages to at least firm that up. Hot routing the flat zones to hook or buzz zones. If I'm getting beat with a concept like Smash, I'll even hot route the slot flat defenders to man up the slot receivers while everyone else runs zone.

The big thing on defense is to have a plan. In my case, that is to stop the run at all costs. I don't want to get beat by the run. I usually give up a shit ton of passing yards because of it, but it is easier to force a mistake through the air than it is on the ground.

This is very similar to what I run. I base out of 4-2-5 (though my custom D is a real hybrid and has lots of different fronts) and Cover-3 is what I call most often. Modifications I make most often from that base are:

1. Spread and then pinch the DL.
2. Adjust one or both of the flat zone defenders into a buzz (pink) zone, depending on opponent alignment and down/distance.
3. Man cover a slot receiver or TE with a SS.

I will also sneak a Cover-1 man call in there from time to time, but the fact that it is basically useless against Corner routes makes it a risky call.
 

TXHusker05

Well-Known Member
NCAA Moderator
#18
I run a hybrid as well. It is pretty much base Nickel. 425, Nickel Normal or 4-4 with safeties subbed at OLB. I don't stray far from those 3 main sets. Occasionally I will go Dime, but really only against people who consistently run Empty.

I sit in some variation of Cover 3 most of the game. In 425 Normal, either straight Cover 3 or I do Max Zone and just hot route the DEs to rush instead of drop into coverage. I like that I get 3 deep and 4 hook zones rather than 3 deep, 2 hook and 2 flat. In Nickel I like Cover 3 Cloud, if I'm consistently getting attacked with corner routes I'll check that flat corner to a buzz zone.

I also mix in Cover 1 Man here and there as a change of pace. Pre-snap it looks just like Cover 3 with the single high safety. Have to pick your spots with that though because man will get torched by pretty much anything.

I go Cover 2 here and there though. Nickel Normal has a great Cover 2 Disguise play that looks similar to Cover 3 presnap but then they drop into a Cover 2 Sink zone. I use that quite a bit with aggressive zone on to try and get people who throw curls. I'll also do Inverted Cover 2 out of 4-4. That's my main curveball coverage and I like it because 4-4 doesn't have the alignment issues 425 does.
 

tgcmarshall

Dropped Interception
#19
I tried the 4-2-5 and didn't have much success. Maybe I'll lab a few games against the CPU and give it another go and try these things out. Do you guys run all variations of the 4-2-5 or just the base?
 

TXHusker05

Well-Known Member
NCAA Moderator
#21
I tried the 4-2-5 and didn't have much success. Maybe I'll lab a few games against the CPU and give it another go and try these things out. Do you guys run all variations of the 4-2-5 or just the base?
I almost only run base 425, although Over/Under have a few good Cover 3 variations with different people covering the flat zone. I like the base 425 look, base Nickel and base 44. I'll shift my LBs and DL to create an over/under look on a lot of plays.

When I really want a big time Over/Under front, I go 43.
 

tgcmarshall

Dropped Interception
#25
Where are y'all finding the 44 formation? I thought there was a formation sub in the 4-2-5, but I can't seem to find it.
The 4-4 is in there and I tried it but I didn't like many of the plays that it had. They could have done so much more with it but it's not a popular formation anymore so it seems they just gave it a few plays and called it acceptable.
 

TXHusker05

Well-Known Member
NCAA Moderator
#26
Where are y'all finding the 44 formation? I thought there was a formation sub in the 4-2-5, but I can't seem to find it.
I had to create a custom defensive playbook to get the 4-4. I use 425, 43, 44, 46, Nickel, Dime. All 4 man fronts, not much Over/Under except in 43. 44 is a really basic formation, there isn't much in it other than Cover 1, Cover 2, Inverted Cover 2 Zone, Cover 3 and a few blitzes but that's all I need.

I started using 44 in NCAA 13 because I was tired of dealing with the alignment issues in 425 where users could create mismatches by going Twins or Trips and getting a SS or LB on slot receiver while the 2nd corner is on a TE or something. 44 gives you a similar look as 425 but with the alignment consistency of 43. If your opponent lines up in Twins or Trips, you can get a corner over look and not have a mismatch anywhere. Plus I love that inverted Cover 2 Zone play, it's a really good curveball coverage after running a base Cover 3 out of 425 pretty much all game. Just formation sub a couple SS into the OLB spots and you're good to go.
 
#27
I had to create a custom defensive playbook to get the 4-4. I use 425, 43, 44, 46, Nickel, Dime. All 4 man fronts, not much Over/Under except in 43. 44 is a really basic formation, there isn't much in it other than Cover 1, Cover 2, Inverted Cover 2 Zone, Cover 3 and a few blitzes but that's all I need.

I started using 44 in NCAA 13 because I was tired of dealing with the alignment issues in 425 where users could create mismatches by going Twins or Trips and getting a SS or LB on slot receiver while the 2nd corner is on a TE or something. 44 gives you a similar look as 425 but with the alignment consistency of 43. If your opponent lines up in Twins or Trips, you can get a corner over look and not have a mismatch anywhere. Plus I love that inverted Cover 2 Zone play, it's a really good curveball coverage after running a base Cover 3 out of 425 pretty much all game. Just formation sub a couple SS into the OLB spots and you're good to go.
I haven't used the 4-4 in NCAA 14, but I remember that in past editions of the game it played oddly soft against the run, especially between the tackles.

Is that still the case?
 

TXHusker05

Well-Known Member
NCAA Moderator
#28
I haven't used the 4-4 in NCAA 14, but I remember that in past editions of the game it played oddly soft against the run, especially between the tackles.

Is that still the case?
Honestly, I use 4-4 as a pass defense first. When I am facing a heavy run offense, I usually go 43 or 46. It hasn't seemed abnormally soft against the run, any more than any defense is soft against the run in 14.
 
#30
Ive had some success with the 425 lately online. Against 2 back and pro formations Im running Normal. against single back Im running under slide. I run a base cover 6 from underslide. I got it from a recommendation to the playbook site and an article on the 425. The part about manning a safety fit into what I was already doing with my other defenses. I also got the base cover six part from ohio state. Eleven warriors is good side especially stuff from ross fulton (His in season coverage /articles are great.)


Anyway they did run a base under cover 6 six to the field coverage. So the formation strength and numbers are to the field, and the boundary corner to the weak side playing force. What you want to do is take fs ( I think, to many safeties in 425 ) from his 1/4 coverage and man him on the number 2 wr to his side and move him close to the box as you feel comfortable without him getting to out of position to at least react to deep ball. He is basically your eight defender.

Then I use the mlb and and pursue on any run play. The strong side runs should be shut down because of your numbers and you the mlb crossing the centerline. weakside runs have less men but the boundary corner in the hard blue zone usually is really aggressive and makes tackles especially if you can force it wide to him. Also since its to the boundary their isnt much room to work with so all you have to do is make it bounce a little. .

You can be hurt a little if they are smart and put their formation to the boundary(what teams did to OSU and hurt them) but rarley do people do that. Must want to for good reasons run to the wide side and get to the corner.

If they do I CONSISTENTLY then I would change coverage's. Because you don't want your corner force have the whole wide side to contain.

Also zone read can be an issue especially from power spread sets because of alignment issues. I put my option defense on conservative and scrape exchange until the show me they will be effective. If so then you might have to go into normal so your alignments are better.

Not a great defense in the game but fun since hardly anyone uses it.
 

Wolfman21

Well-Known Member
#31
Back when I had this game I almost exclusively used a cover 3 zone and mixed in a couple different cover 2 man plays. Those were the only choices I had. Don't blitz because its not getting home and the QB will find the open WR 9.9 times out of 10.
 

JSU Zack

How do I IT?
#35
What are some 3-4 tips you guys have? I'm a 4-3 & 425 guy & I want to know some tips in defending the pass with 3-4
All any team does with the 3-4 now is face base offenses (21/12/20 personnel). As soon as a third receiver hits the field, Bama and the Steelers swap to their nickel package.
 

Atmore

Active Member
#36
Under front and bringing down a safety usually does okay
....this does work and I also use the over front but I flip the defense.... 425 is my every down defense now but I wish you could do more with the formation subs.... Like out your #1 CB in the S position or bring in a 3rd CB because Safties are usually terrible in man coverage
 

TXHusker05

Well-Known Member
NCAA Moderator
#37
....this does work and I also use the over front but I flip the defense.... 425 is my every down defense now but I wish you could do more with the formation subs.... Like out your #1 CB in the S position or bring in a 3rd CB because Safties are usually terrible in man coverage
I run a hybrid 425/43 defense. I have one 425 formation where I actually formation sub corners into both SS spots to create a sort of Dime defense for coverage purposes. More often than not, my 2nd SS is a CB anyway since recruiting good strong safeties is a nightmare.

I prefer coverage guys across my entire secondary, tacklers/hard hitters are overrated in this game. As most dynasties go on, I end up recruiting all CBs and ATHs and distributing them across CB/FS/SS. I don't remember the last time I recruited a true FS or SS.
 

Craig7835

Active Member
#38
All any team does with the 3-4 now is face base offenses (21/12/20 personnel). As soon as a third receiver hits the field, Bama and the Steelers swap to their nickel package.
I basically do that with my 4-3.I would come out in Nickel Normal Strong Package & audible to any 4-3 play. When I used the 3-4, I got burned several times on the deep ball,but stopping the run was no problem.
 

JSU Zack

How do I IT?
#39
I basically do that with my 4-3.I would come out in Nickel Normal Strong Package & audible to any 4-3 play. When I used the 3-4, I got burned several times on the deep ball,but stopping the run was no problem.
In my early days (PSOne/Xbox), I ran 4-3 but swapped to the 3-4 when Saban came to Bama. Yes, homerism.

In the last year, I've swapped from a 3-4 robber scheme to a 4-3 Cover 4 scheme. It's what Sparty runs so well and can stop almost anything. Plus, it means I keep a consistent defensive line and can drop back the linebackers on most plays while having QB pressure.
 

Craig7835

Active Member
#42
In my early days (PSOne/Xbox), I ran 4-3 but swapped to the 3-4 when Saban came to Bama. Yes, homerism.

In the last year, I've swapped from a 3-4 robber scheme to a 4-3 Cover 4 scheme. It's what Sparty runs so well and can stop almost anything. Plus, it means I keep a consistent defensive line and can drop back the linebackers on most plays while having QB pressure.
I think Mark Dantoni runs the Saban 3-4 scheme at MSU.If I decide to switch to the 3-4,I'll try run it like Gary Patterson does his 425 at TCU,in fact I run my 43 the same way except I like to run Flex looks,which works pretty good.
 

JSU Zack

How do I IT?
#43
I think Mark Dantoni runs the Saban 3-4 scheme at MSU.If I decide to switch to the 3-4,I'll try run it like Gary Patterson does his 425 at TCU,in fact I run my 43 the same way except I like to run Flex looks,which works pretty good.
I may be wrong, but he definitely runs cover 4. He's went on record this year saying he would run it every down if he could.
 

LEGEND

Well-Known Member
#48
Before they removed it from the play book in NCAA 13... I ran a base 4-4 cover 4 scheme that really shut down the run and up'ed my defenses ability to force turnovers. I may try to recreate that with the 425 and formation subs?

I ran some 4-3 Over Cover 4 in my last user gm and forced some turnovers as well! Three Int's and two fumbles.
 

NavyHog

Well-Known Member
Utopia Moderator
NCAA Moderator
#49
Got to mix things up. I almost never blitz as it doesn't get there fast enough. Drop 7 or 8 and try to shut down the middle of the field. My favorite defense is 4-2-5 Over. I always recruit a lot of fast FS/SS types.
 

JSU Zack

How do I IT?
#50
How in the world do you run Cover 2 under and Cover 1 all game without getting burned by outs, slants and corners
That's the thing; I don't. I run Cover 4 all game and disguise my coverages. I'll throw the curveball at crucial moments and get a back-breaking turnover.