Madden won’t be out for a couple months, so many of us are jumping on the NCAA 14 train to keep our sticks fresh. This game is sure to show us a few clues about what Madden 25 will be like with new hot routes, physics, and play calls. Here are a few things that I have noticed about NCAA in the early goings.

Shovel Option: This play incorporates a shovel pass back towards the middle of the field with the normal option to pitch the ball outside. The deadly part about this play is the pitch back inside. It works almost as a “Middle Screen” where your linemen actually come up and block down field. This leads me to one of the largest improvements in game play that I have seen in an EA football game in a long time……

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Run Blocking Improvements: It seems as if you will no longer have to plan on your TE, FB, or pulling Gaurds running RIGHT BY a defender. In past years you count on your blocker whiffing on a block and going to the next level. This year, your blocker WILL NOT miss such blocks. While your TE or FB takes their man, your Olinemen will move up the field to the next level. With the new physics, and all of the option runs becoming more popular, we should see the running game become more prevalent not only in NCAA, but in Madden 25.

Improved Game Play Physics: The thing that you first notice when you play NCAA 14 for the first time is how smooth the game play is. Running the ball LITERALLY feels more realistic than ever! The cuts you can make only using the left stick are tremendous. As someone who actually runs the ball a lot in Madden, I am hopeful that this is something that carries over to M25. My run game will be more deadly than ever! Other player movements, especially on defense are better than have ever been as well. As far as physics and player movement go, this may be the best EA football game that I have ever played. However, there are some things that I have found that are less encouraging.

Man Coverage: After using 2 Man Under all the time in Madden 13, it seems like EA has toned down man coverage…..A LOT. I play on all American, and not only do I destroy man coverage while on offense, but the CPU KILLS man defense when I am trying to stop the pass. The Zig hot route is open every time, unless the get picked by a WR on another route or a blitzing defensive player. Looks like I will be calling almost nothing but zone in NCAA 14, and keep in mind, this makes any zero blitz (rushing 7 defenders) almost useless. Call a Zig, throw a quick pass and you have an easy completion with lots of running room.

Y-Trips HB WK – PA WR In (Block Running Back, Zig TE): This play is back in full force for NCAA 14. The route that I have been having great success with is the deep “Post” that the B WR is on. This route decimates Cover 3, Cover 2, and can be squeezed in against Cover 4 as well. The RB WR is on the Wheel and is open LATER as the B WR’s Deep Post takes the safety to the middle of the field against Cover 2 and Cover 3. Against Cover 4, you can throw to the Wheel quickly, or wait and squeeze it in up the deep sideline. Now, as mentioned before, Man Coverage is weak this year. The TE on the Zig route will be easily open against Man Coverage, with some running room to go with it. The TE Zig is also an easy option against cover 4 defenses. I’m not sure you will need much more than this play to run your offense effectively.

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That’s all for now! Hope everyone jumps on NCAA this season in preparation for M25, as many of us here at Madden -School have! Some of us are running online Legacies this year, so join the site and sign up! See you guys next time with my best scheme from Madden 13!