NCAA 2011 Defensive Help

Submitted by SpreadGuru on August 15th, 2010 at 11:13 PM

Hoping the MGOBLOGOSPHERE can help me out here.  I have been playing quite a bit online but am struggling to stop the run.  What defenses do you find help minimize the run the best?



August 15th, 2010 at 11:16 PM ^

3-3-5 stack and set the defensive line to aggressive at least if you're playing against the CPU.  Recruit some hard-hitting safeties to play spur and bandit.


August 16th, 2010 at 1:26 AM ^

Seconded, and would also suggest the SS dogs (I think that's the name of the play), where both the spur and bandit blitz, the FS plays center field, and everyone else is in man. This is even good to run against the wildcat formation, although I'd suggest to play as the FS and use him to spy the QB.


August 15th, 2010 at 11:32 PM ^

I like to play a base 4-3, shift D line to strong side and the backers out, and usually play with the SS (almost always run a cover 1 on 1st and 2nd, that way I can shadow with the safety without giving up deep help). Pressing your corners also helps a bunch.


August 15th, 2010 at 11:32 PM ^

Line up in the 5-2 defense but have your de's drop back in coverage or man to man and squeeze the middle three in towards the middle.  

That way you take out the middle and if your doing zone the de's will still be in the area to be able to clog space.

Also occasionally guess which side they're running and do a cb blitz play on that side in the 5-2... running is hard to stop in general this year but if the guy online sees a 5-2 and you luckily stop him a few plays he'll be inclined to pass it... but with the de's dropping back still it's not any easier for him to pass.

What's your GT on Live (I'm assuming your on 360)?   I'd be happy to beat you just using passing plays :)  VA Tech and Michigan are my two teams this year.  Good luck!


August 15th, 2010 at 11:34 PM ^

Its not about formations dammit ! defense is played with heart and the desire to punish the other team ! ... its about being where your suppose to be and trusting the man next to you .. theres not a formation in the world you can put them boys in if they dont want it they wont prevail !!!

So tell them to get their asses out there and play like they have a fire to win ... punish the ball carrier and keep punishing him until he begs you to stop and then destroy anything that moves !!!

Glen Masons Hot Wife

August 15th, 2010 at 11:35 PM ^

Go conservative for big hits and strip ball. Aggresive for D-line jumping the snap. Makes a big difference for me.

EA recently made it so the cpu will more often draw you offsides when you try to jump the snap... The pros still far outweigh the cons. It still doesn't happen that often. I'm betting your oppenent won't realize what you're doing most of the time.


August 15th, 2010 at 11:36 PM ^

If you really want to commit you can go with a 46, where the strong safety comes up as the eighth man in the box and the free safety plays deep center. I like it because you essentially keep your 4-3 personnel on the field. If it's a tackling issue, start up practice mode, take the D, set the offense up to constantly run. You'll get to practice tackling and experiment with different defenses to find out what works.


August 16th, 2010 at 12:18 AM ^

4-3 and always send an extra guy except on obvious passing downs. I just started playing so I don't know if it is possible in '11 but in '10 you could try to match your formation to their personnel. Knowing what package they have on the field can sometimes give away plays.


August 16th, 2010 at 12:23 AM ^

I just gave up 53 in an online dynasty game... There is no defense to a good offense. I usually score in the 40's or 50's and only win by a field goal or so. That's with running one formation and like three or four plays too.


August 16th, 2010 at 12:32 AM ^

Lloyd Carr is telling you to run the ball at least 3 out of every 4 downs... and take the play clock down to 2 seconds on every other play!

Giving up 40+ points a game means you gotta throw in a run play here or there and actually watch the clock. lol.  I beat a guy online the other day 12-10 using Michigan and he was Arkansas.  It was the most satisfyingly frustrating game I've ever played online.   


August 16th, 2010 at 10:00 AM ^

But any competent player will hang 50+ on you if you use this strategy.

My advice, match their receivers with an equal number of corners every play.  Press on the line.  Set your d-line to aggressive (watch out though, after the last patch if your opponent knows what they are doing they can draw you offsides a lot).  Play with your safety (I prefer my FS) and patrol the middle of the field, and come up in run support.  Read the lineman, and you will know right away if it is run or pass, even if it is play action.  I'm not a huge fan of guessing which way the run is going because one wrong guess can kill you.  Keep your plays basic, run a lot of man and cover 3 or cover 2 (I prefer 3 because it allows my to take away the short stuff with my safety).  Keep it simple, wait for them to make a mistake.  There is not shame in them driving methodically on you, that means they know what they are doing.  Make them earn it though, don't give up big plays.  Most people will make a mistake somewhere and kill the drive.

If you only take one thing away from this though, it would be to play as your safety.  I think the safety position is by far the CPUs worst position.  I know a lot of people like to play with their d-line, but IMO those are people that just aren't good with their safety, and therefore don't want to screw themselves over by giving up big plays.

03 Blue 07

August 16th, 2010 at 10:53 AM ^

Very good points; I agree with all of this. My only thing is that it IS always hard to control the safety, but if you can master it, you can really be a dominant player on defense. I had a good friend on the 08 version who was my roommate (we played like 128 times during the school year and kept track on the fridge...I wish I still had that tally list as a keepsake) and he would control the safety and was very good at it, and I can tell you, it's fucking intimidating. You basically just have to decide you're going to go right at him and hope he misses the pick. It's high risk, high reward, but if you can do it properly (control the safety) you are gonig to be a stud on defense. Personally, i was never great at it and was more of an MLB or D Line guy. Still am. Even playing the game 2x a day for 6 months, I was still always wary of controlling the safety.


August 16th, 2010 at 12:11 PM ^

I definitely have killed myself in games because I screw up with the safety.  But, the only way I know how to stop the run is to use my safety, so I do it anyway.  Where it really gets tricky is playing online.  Playing safety gets 10x harder with even a tiny bit of lag, let alone the usual half to one second delay that is typical in online games.


August 16th, 2010 at 1:13 AM ^

I have consistently ran the nickel and 3-3-5 defenses, using audibles to blitz or man coverage depending on what they come out with, and then the different cover controls- press, show blitz, and all those. I have ran this with Michigan for 3 years, and the defensive lineman ?. Gordon beat a record for sacks in a season by a 1994 linebacker (also ?) Just make sure to always be a defensive lineman. I also ran this at Florida in an online dynasty against friends, and my defense was completely dominating.

Fresh Meat

August 16th, 2010 at 9:13 AM ^

I am 18-1 online playing soley with Michigan.  I tell you this only so that you will take my advice.  Just play a 4-3.  Play man or simple cover 2 or something.  The game penalizes you for blitzing too much this year.  I can't tell you how many times i've ripped off a huge run because they blitzed and I picked it up and there was no one left behind the line to stop me once I got through.  Don't over blitz, it's killer.  I almost always run man or cover 2 no matter what the formation.  I'm playing an online dynasty with my 5 of my friends on heisman and I was 13-0 and champion first season and i'm 8-0 so far this year.  Trust me, it works just fine.  You probably are getting too tricky with your D's. 

03 Blue 07

August 16th, 2010 at 10:47 AM ^

Need more information. You're having trouble stopping the run out of which formations? If they are in a base pro set, you should run a 4-3, and blitz from time to time, but, really, you have to control the MLB or the player closest to the play and make the play. If you over-blitz, you will get murdered, for multiple reasons: 1.) the computer or your opponent picks it up, leaving your guys vulnerable in the secondary, and often with at least one guy wide open; 2.) you blitz into the wrong gap, and you have no second level of defense-- I.e., when I run 5-2 a lot, I will do MLB blitz if I have a hunch they're going to run an iso or something up the middle. However, if they do a pitch, you're fucked. You're MLB's aren't a factor, and yeah, fucked.

It all depends on the formation. Generally speaking, you want to have as many CB's as they have receivers. If they are running three wide, one back, I usually go nickel. If they're in pro set or heavier, than go 4-3.

I must respectfully disagree with the 3-3-5 crowd; any time anyone has ever run a 3-3-5 against me, I have ground them to death by running between the tackles. The 3-3-5 doesn't have the same "beef" up front. The 4-3, 46, 3-4, or 5-2 are all better for stopping the run out of a pro or big formation in my opinion. If they're spreading you out and running on you, well, you gotta get better at controlling the individual defender near the ball and making the tackle yourself.


August 16th, 2010 at 10:54 AM ^

Really? I have no problem stuffing the run at all. Very rarely does someone gain 100 yards on the ground against me.

Part of that is probably because my pass defense is terrible. I apparently am incapable of calling the proper coverage.


August 16th, 2010 at 1:56 PM ^

Pressuring the QB is a huge part of stopping the pass. Even if you don't take him down, the pass accuracy goes down if you get within a step of him. I've had success with showing blitz while in a zone defense. It makes the QB hurry his throw and miss a defender.


August 16th, 2010 at 5:27 PM ^

for defense, i let the offensive alignment dictate my defense

if its 2 wr, i go 4-3 or 5-2

3 wr i go 3-3-5 or nickel or dime

4 wr dime zone coverages or quarter coverages


when i go to dime and qtr, i make sure i dont go with a d that is just man, because lets say you pick man in a 4 wr set and they send the running back up and out to the flat


the rb is gonna be open as they lb is to slow to cover the rb cpu wise, thus giving up the first down.

also will drop back a d linemen on occasion in dime to use him as extra coverage under neath the first down area, especially when dealing with mobile qbs

some knucklehead using osu tried using pryor on me all game, but was just shutting osu down

for passing plays offensively, i like alot of plays where its 2 wr on the same sides and they cross with each others , some of those are in the shotgun 3 wr formations, thus with the switch, espciecallly when only one corner on a side, you get that favorable matchup with a safety.

i also like the wheel route with the rb going down the field for a bomb, as its hard for that lb to keep up with the rb ( shaw or smith)

also if you do play the coimputer, they like throwing alot of underneath passes early in the game, so if you play a short zone early, more often then not on the 1st 2-3 possessions, you should be able to stop the cpu, before they start opening up a bit more

also in the single back formation, i like using the te crossing play.  both tight ends, one on each side of the line, cross each other. one wr runs a fly, the other runds a deep route which breaks inside. usually you end up with an open tight end somewhere, or single coverage on 1 of the wideouts down field

plus if you have a mobile qb , like denard, it spells trouble for defenses, especially this play