Say you’re down 21 at halftime and the opposing QB is putting up Heisman numbers on your defense, what do you do? Going into each game you need to be prepared defensively with the ability to make numerous adjustments to slow down your opponent. In this Top 5 list we break down the most important defensive adjustments you will need to make all year long in NCAA Football 13.
5. Protect Deep
When playing defense your number one objective is to prevent your opponent from scoring. That is why you should always look to protect the deep part of the field. In situations where you are sending heavy pressure you will want to make sure that you look to recover to the deep part of the field and protect against any type of deep ball. This can be difficult to accomplish because we are all inclined to protect against the first line of attack. Protecting deep will result in your opponent having to checkdown to their underneath options. If it is 3rd and 13, a dump off pass where we wrap up still makes it 4th and 7 and your defense is off the field. Make sure to always have this on your mind and you will see the amount of points your opponents score fall dramatically. We always user a safety, but newer players may want to try a LB since the damage is less if a mistake is made. This will give you confidence and have you start making plays in no time.
4. QB Spy
Unless you select a play on defense that has a defender in a QB Spy you will want to make sure that you hot route one in on nearly every defensive play that you run. The best players to do this with would be MLB’s or DE’s. These defenders have enough speed to chase down scrambling QB’s and you won’t be giving up much coverage either. You are trying to avoid situations where your secondary has lockdown coverage but the pass rush didn’t get to the QB. This allows the QB to rush past the line of scrimmage for big gains. If your defense has a QB Spy in place it will make it extremely difficult for your opponent to even consider running with his QB. QB Spys also do a great job at protecting the short middle of the field. When a defender drops into their QB Spy they will sit right at the depth that most underneath WR patterns run. This will help to slow down offensive routes such as drags, slants, and in routes.
3. Drop Defensive Linemen into Coverage
A major aspect of our defensive scheme is sending pressure off one edge of the defensive line and then dropping the opposite side of the line into coverage. We then mix up which side of the defensive line we bring pressure from which creates a dilemma for the offense. The first of which is what side is the pressure coming from. The second is where are the defenders dropping into coverage? You will want to drop defensive linemen into zones where the offense is attacking. If you are consistently getting hit in the flat, then look to drop your DE into a flat zone. If you are getting hit over the middle of the field, drop a hook zone to slow it down. Adding extra coverage from defensive line is a great way to rattle your opponent. Be sure to mix up which side of the field you are dropping the coverage so you don’t become predictable.
2. User Press Coverage
You might be asking yourself what is user pressing? User press coverage is when you manually control a defender and press a specific offensive receiver at the line of scrimmage. To do this you will need to hot route your user defender to a hook zone. Once you do this move him directly over the offensive receiver you are looking to press and at the snap of the ball hold the RB/R1 button (360/PS3). Once the press happens you will need to drop into coverage with your user defender. Typically you will want to follow the receiver that you pressed as he continues on his route. This will be very frustrating for your opponent to have to deal with as you will be taking away their #1 option at the snap of the ball. This is a great way limit top TE’s in the game who are working the middle of the field.
1. Take Away the First Option
When playing defense you should be determining your opponent’s tendencies and what they like to do in specific situations. Over the course of the game you will need to start taking away his first option. If you are consistently getting beat over the middle of the field look to take a user defender and sit directly on the route that you expect. Force your opponent to throw the ball right where you are. This is where you need to step up and make a big play. Once you start making big plays your opponent will look to shy away from your user defender and have to hit their secondary options. This will slow down their offensive scheme tremendously, which will give your defense a huge advantage. Most online gamers are uncomfortable making all their reads and rely on a few plays. Getting them out of their comfort zone will level the playing field!