Bumped. GO BRUINS. - N
I've been playing NCAA Football 09 on my Playstation 3 for a good month and a half now, and I've come across a handful of video game matchups with Tennessee against human opponents through the internet and some against the CPU. I feel that the ratings that the game gave Tennesse (I believe in the high 80s, low 90s) compared to our team ratings (low 80s) was fair and reasonable in assessing the talent (and only talent) of the team. However, I've walked away victorious because a) the ratings, talent, etc. can only go so far and b) it also comes down to the plays called and decisions made within the game. I've had a gameplan that, oddly enough, has echoed of the same principles I've seen on other posts on the internets that discuss how we may or may not beat the Vols. And so I've decided to share that video game strategy with you fellow BNers, young and old, gamers or not...and come on, the fellows on NFL Live and College Gameday Live use video game sims!
I've thrown in pictures.
I'll go one better and actually discuss strategy! Join me after the jump ..
1) A running game that can move the ball 3-5 yards on most occasions.
Why 3-5 yards? On first downs that I ran the ball on, a short-to-medium gain set up what I think is key to sustaining a drive (video game or real life): manageable second and/or third down situations. Second and six, etc. can set up another run, a quick slant, curl routes, or play action. When I passed on first down (whether a short pass or play action), the first down could be easily converted on second and short. What is key here is how our real offensive line blocks on Monday night...though the video game O-line frustrated me as well (getting 3-5 yards consistently may be nice, but it leaves one wishing you could break a huge gain every once in a while... =/ )
2) Making short/medium, smart passes to different receivers, including tight ends.
I used a lot of quick slants, curl routes, crossing routes, and short in routes as well as out routes. Again, this sets up favorable situations to convert a first down. Short passes can also build up Craft's confidence early in the game. Involving the tight ends is key; I believe we've underutilized our TEs a LOT last year, which was unforutnate. I also think that smart throws into the flats allows our backs to make some plays in the open field; hopefully Craft will be mindful of his checkdowns and realize when to dump the ball and when not to.
3) Throw the deep ball.
Simple as that. Short, consistent gains will shift the focus to stopping that, whether through different blitzing schems, more men in the box, or bringing the safeties in. In some way, that should free up Dominique Johnson or Terrence Austin (and our other passing options on the field). Whether they can make the big play or if our o-line can provide the necessary pass protection...we'll see. I also say that it's obvious because Chow should have some plays that could free up a deep pass.
4) Utilize varied blitz schemes, as well as zone blitzes.
Yes, it ended in a pick six, thanks to some solid pressure from the front four. -via videocdn.easw.easports.com
Our defense needs to find a way to get Crompton on the ground early and (preferably) often. Throwing blitzes also allows us to show blitz but drop back in coverage, which could be favorable if the offense audibles to the wrong play. Again, all hypothetical, but it could work.
5) Find a way to keep the game close into crunch time in the fourth quarter.
I've seen articles on the internets saying we'll squeak by with a win or get utterly blown out. The defense will keep us in the game, but we will probably need a way to keep the game close. In all the games that I've played on NCAA 09 against Tennessee, it has come down to a very late score (in one instance, a game-winning FG as time expired). My gut feeling says that if we are to win, it will be something late and clutch.
Another pick six, this time on the Vols' late fourth quarter drive; this put the game away. -via videocdn.easw.easports.com
Again, the same way I approached the video game version of Tennessee seems to echo sentiments I've found on the intenet. Feel free to throw in your two cents...I'm just throwing ideas out there and I'd love to hear how others would gameplan for Tennessee. On a final note, I'll be taking pictures at the game on Monday night and I'll be posting them for BN, so look out for a post sometime next week.