NCAA 14 Demo: Early Returns & Gripes

Submitted by boliver46 on June 19th, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Early impressions of NCAA 14 are pretty positive so far.  I admit I haven't played it in God knows how some of those who've pretty loyally played it year after year have an advantage in the progression of the game.

I really like the control and flexibility of the running game.  It's nice to see Man-Bawl be successful - especially against our hated rival!

I also like the "Ask the Coach" feature for play-calls.  Makes me feel like I'm in Borges' head during the game...I don't recall this being a feature when last I played.  It's been in Madden forever, but not sure about NCAA.

Dislike the names tied to the players though.  I understand they can't use REAL names, but I think I prefer OT #77 to the name tied to Lewan (can't recall it off the top of my head).  Especially confusing to my 7-year old son who loves Devin Gardner and was like "why is #12 named xxxx?" 

Also find it a bit TOO easy in the passing game.  Just about every throw seems to hit on target without alot of effort.  My kids are effectively winging it all over the place - which is great to keep them interested - but not altogether realistic.

I only played for about 2 hours - but interested in learning other's feedback and features of the game they've found an improvement - or simply just fun to utilize.

***Side Note - had to change my Xbox name from BDOGG6969 to BDOGG1974 since my 10-year old daughter and 7-year old son love the game so far...and they're asking too many questions about my name!***

Speaking of all them questions...


*****Updated TItle to highlight as the demo vs. full released copy in July****


Doc Brown

June 19th, 2013 at 11:50 AM ^

In reply to couple of your comments. 

Ask a Coach feature - This feature has been in the past few iterations of NCAA football. Nothing new to see here. 

Names of players - This is the first year where I can remember the players having random names at the launch of the game. In prior iterations of NCAA football, players would just have a number. However, I am sure the names are temporary and will allow for the community to post accurate rosters a few days following the launch. Watch both here and at for rosters to look out for in the EA locker. 

Offense seems too easy in this game compared to the last edition. I was struggling on pass defense against Ohio. Braxton Miller was able to pick apart my secondary no matter the alignment or if I threw man-to-man or zone coverage at them. This is completely not in real life with his crappy arm. 


June 19th, 2013 at 2:03 PM ^

Above average...technically, yes. Taylor Martinez had a better passer efficiency last year, though, so I wouldn't exactly say that being above average says much about your passing abilities. Also, that above average efficiency comes from only attempting 20 passes per game at a rate of 13 yards/completion, so it's not like he's really passing it down field a lot.

Doc Brown

June 19th, 2013 at 4:40 PM ^

Should have been more specific with regards to Braxton Miller. He has a 100 thousand dollar arm with a 10 cent brain. While Miller did pick apart my secondary, he also threw two picks. The final pick was as their team was driving up to the 10 yard line with 20 seconds left. 


June 19th, 2013 at 1:48 PM ^

Haven't played NCAA Football in a long time...thinking '05 maybe?  So didn't think it had that feature in the past.

Would be cool if it REALLY modeled a given coach's tendencies in certain situations - e.g. Hoke recommending Going for It when it's 4th and 2 at the opponent's 48 yard line...instead of the Madden default "YOU SHALL PUNT!!!"

You just KNOW Hoke (even virtual Hoke) would go for it!

We Are The Borg

June 19th, 2013 at 12:42 PM ^

This has been my gripe for years, but that is why I'm happy about the custom soundtracks. I have been using the band's CD from about five years ago for my custom soundtrack. I have Temptation in there for a third down stop, Let's Go Blue for various things, and some others.


June 19th, 2013 at 12:02 PM ^

that the super linebackers and ice skating DBs are gone. I'm impressed after one game. Full disclosure: I did beat Ohio 14-7. My positive impressions could be jaded lol


June 19th, 2013 at 12:04 PM ^

After being disappointed with the completely broken Road to Glory and lackluster gameplay of 13, I don't know why I would get this version other than for the cover.

That being said, I'm hoping the issues you guys are having with overpowered offense will be easily corrected with adjusted game sliders. The community support for rosters and sliders are a HUGE reason why I will consider this year's edition.


June 19th, 2013 at 12:16 PM ^

I question the gameplay difficulty. Haven't played the demo yet, so I don't know if you can change the gameplay setting. Also, I don't know if it was set on "Varsity," "All-American," or "Heisman" while you were playing it.

What I do know is the higher level of difficult it is set on, the harder it will be. Usually on Heisman you get errant throws (based off of previous game play), while when it is set on the easier setting, the QB accuracy does go through the roof. 

Either that or Gardner is a god.

[EDIT:] Also, the name issue may just be with the demo version. When they released the top ten players on each team, roster names showed up like always (i.e. QB #12)

image from BHGP


June 19th, 2013 at 1:23 PM ^

I didn't look too hard at gameplay settings - I just wanted to get in there and whip the Buckeyes!  I assumed the default would be kind of middle of the road - so guess that would equate to All-American based on your comments.  I will play around with it tonight and see how it impacts my experience.

Didn't know about the sliders either from another post - that could be key to making things a bit more interesting.

So far, I love it...and strongly considering buying it for myself for my Birthday which coincides with release date...How can I NOT???


June 19th, 2013 at 2:14 PM ^

default is varsity for madden/ncaa so i would assume thats what it is set to, there is a rookie difficulty setting too which is even easier (might be called something else dont remember).


June 19th, 2013 at 5:36 PM ^

Is the easiest difficulty. I've never even played it honestly. I can't play varsity anymore because I literally never get scored on and scored on every drive (I won every game of a varsity season with an average score of 100-0). To challenge myself last year, I played bama as eastern on heisman difficulty...and won. I don't know what to do anymore.



June 19th, 2013 at 12:28 PM ^

I've played NCAA 12 and 14 and on both of them it's pretty easy to pass. The game I've played forever is NCAA 05 and that game infuriates me with how hard passing is and the incesant dropsies that every single wide receiver has no matter how many stars he has. I literally have all four of my wideouts as 5*s in that game and I get 5-10 drops every single game. Makes me furious


June 19th, 2013 at 12:52 PM ^

I think this game has taken a HUGE step forward from 2013. This one, at least in terms of the demo, is much more realistic with the physics. One thing that irritates the $&@# out of me is when you have a 200 pound RB getting stuffed by a 170 pound FS/SS coming on a blitz and they truck you and you lose two yards even though you have FORWARD MOMENTUM. That continually irritated me and about 6-10 PS3 controllers.
The new Physics enhancement or whatever they call it was incredible. I think the starting RB for UM was Rawls (38??) and I was picking up an average of 4.8 YPC on my first game against osu, which I played on Heisman and won 23-14.

They made Braxton WAY TOO GOD like in this game as he connected on a lot of Hail-mary type passes always targeting Countess (which I thought was a little rediculous). Unless I'm way too biased, I didn't think osu had a complete stud that can catch anything thrown his way double/triple coverage or not.

I was HELLA impressed that linebackers could not single-handedly influence a game with one-handed picks (NCAA 2012) or extraordinary leaping ability (NCAA 2013); this alone makes it worth buying to have over 2013 [if you're not buying it soley for DENARD ON THE COVER!!!!]


June 19th, 2013 at 12:54 PM ^

I played it briefly last night, and I had mixed feelings.  I hadn't played since NCAA 12, but I didn't feel like there was any major progress (well, duh, it's EA) and there were a few things that I actually thought were worse than years before.  The graphics and colors look too cartoony now, and the animations seem even more choppy and unrealistic.  Maybe these things will be improved when the game is released, but I wasn't impressed in those areas.  The running felt more fluid and I like the hard cut.  Some new tackle animations and supposedly they added some real time physics but I'd prefer if they go all out with the physics so we don't have to see the same 10 tackle animations every time.

I can't decide if I'm going to drop the $60 bucks on this one.  I didn't last year.


June 19th, 2013 at 1:07 PM ^

The one thing I wish I could do with the coverage is find some way to make the defenders read run/pass a bit faster. I've tried playing Cover 4 with my safeties showing blitz in order to replicate the defenses that Sparty has used the past few years to try and shut down Denard with little success. I is very difficult to defend the legs of someone like Braxton Miller without weakening your pass D's responsiilities, but I would like the game to let me try it with something other than blitzing on every down.

Had a lot of fun playing with Oregon and TAMU's offenses, though! The read option is MUCH improved.

Tommy Want Wingy

June 19th, 2013 at 1:54 PM ^

I agree with you 100%. I have been combating this for a couple years by bringing the safeties up, and controlling the FS on any play that isnt an obvious passing down. Gives me the ability to read the play myself and decide if I need the extra man in the box. Only issue is every now and then I will bite HARD on a playaction, and leave someone streaking down the field uncovered. 


June 19th, 2013 at 3:57 PM ^

I almost always play a pass rusher because I find it impossible to accurately judge angle and depth as a defender when the camera is behind the QB. Playing there last night the demo compared well to the last version of this I had (201) wheres DTs were the best pass rushers in the game in this demo. I don't actually recall from UFR's, what schemes does Mattison use on mobile QBs? I know we tried the VT-style defense against Miller in 2011 where the corners had two deep zones and the safeties played a very shallow cover one.

In any case, does anyone know of any release date sales for this year's version? I think I want to pick it up, but it's hard to swallow that $60 price tag.

Toasted Yosties

June 19th, 2013 at 1:18 PM ^

do you know if you can delete and create conferences, and adjust a team's rivalries?  In last year's game, when I adjusted the B1G, moving Nebraska back to the Big12, I hated that Iowa would still play them for the annual Heroes Game.  I'd also love to be able to condense the mid-majors into two conferenes.  Small beans stuff, but I'd still like to have more control.

It sounds like they made the recruiting process less time-consuming, very happy about that.


June 19th, 2013 at 1:27 PM ^

Playing this, a few times I would adjust a formation to have the "spell hb" in. Our back up RB is #3. Which I'm guessing is Derrick Green (EA always screw up freshman numbers), but then that puts Fitz all the way to third on our depth chart. Really think they have our roster a little messed up.


June 19th, 2013 at 3:10 PM ^

I didn't, but obviously Rawls is starting, then when you switch to spell HB, it puts the backup in (RB #3), so that means that Fitz is at least 3rd.


June 19th, 2013 at 1:58 PM ^

My biggest gripe is that the the Devin Gardner-esque quarterback for Michigan threw 4 interceptions in the game I played.  This clearly wasn't my fault and is proof the game is faulty as I properly and timely pushed the right doohickey on the thingamajig.  I fully expect EA sports is aware of this problem and will have these quirks worked out by the time the game is released.


June 19th, 2013 at 2:17 PM ^

I like your response because I know your being sarcastic but it's not far off from a lot of peoples real feelings towards the game.   Before commenting please consider the following.

1.  If you say you haven't played the game in 5 years because EA sucks and you are going to play for 15 minutes on a demo and then say it sucks again save the time in posting.  

2. If you feel 1 portion of the game is too easy( I passed for 4 TD's it was too easy to pass) please keep in mind the skill level of the players you are using, the skill level your facing, the difficulty of your settings and your own personal skill level as a gamer then consider how hard it is to get that level perfect for everyone.   Determining if a part of the game is not realistic enough is much more nuanced than people want to believe.  

3.  Complaining about names or numbers on the players is ridiculous.  What do you want them to do?   They can't put the players names on them.  You have to identify players somehow.

4.  The demo does not include conferences and editing of players and such because it would take up too much memory.  Leave those questions for the real game.

5.  Just focus on gameplay.  I saw someone say they were mad they took out the banner touching intro.   I'm pretty sure that was a demo thing as well.  Your feedback should be focused on how the game plays and how well the plays play out.   I said in the previous thread how they added an inverted veer(Brian's favorite play) and it was structured very well.   To get the timing on a play like that has got to be difficult and they nailed it.   They even get the QB to take a couple of shuffle steps with the RB while your making the read.  I got Devin free for 45 yds but the way it played out where I had to read the block sand make the correct cuts was incredible.   This is what you should be focused on.  In the past some plays were great against any defense and some were worthless against any.   Do the screens work?  Do the draws work?  Last year the bubble screens were terrible.   It was like Borges designed the game.  Do they work against some defenses now?   Is it too hard too stop? 









June 19th, 2013 at 2:17 PM ^

not blown away, I like the variety of tackling the madden physics bring but at the same time I had an awkward ankle grab loss of balance sack that sent braxton falling embarrassingly impossible. I wish with the coordinator came it would zoom more or some after the line of scrimmage is passed for offense. Played one game on varsity to get a feel, won 28-7. threw 10-11 3tds, ran for 150. I will give it a go on all American tonight, work my way up.