Home
Feature Article
EJ Manuel talks NCAA Football 14's Gameplay

EJ Manuel has played NCAA Football for years with his friends, so when it came time to work with EA Sports on NCAA Football 14, the former Florida State signal caller was excited about the opportunity.

I recently got a chance to talk with Manuel, who led Florida State to a 12-2 record and an Orange Bowl victory this past season, about NCAA Football 14 and how its gameplay is stacking up versus what you see on the field in the real thing on Saturdays in the Fall.

Manuel was down in Orlando giving the development team pointers on how real college offenses work, including the zone reads Florida State commonly ran last season. He also got a tour of the EA facilities down in Orlando.

"I had a great time down here with these guys," Manuel said.

Manuel was genuinely impressed with the EA team's efforts, saying he was most impressed with the new running features within the game.

"The new abilities when you run the ball, the new stiff arms, jukes, hurdles all were better it felt like to me," Manuel said of the new run game features.

Another new feature is the overhauled line play. Manuel said the man and zone blocking schemes were eerily familiar to what he was used to at Florida State as, "they are exactly what they are implementing here in the game (NCAA 14)."

"If you run the zone with a running back, those guys (offensive linemen) are trying to get their heads across the defensive ends or defensive tackles and that's what they really do in real life. I think that adds a whole new dimension for the running backs to find a real hole. He has to be patient and just can't run up behind a guy or he's going to get tackled," Manuel said of the line play.

That doesn't mean the game is overpowering to the offense though. Manuel said he felt the game was much smarter when it came to how defenders react to the ball and what you are doing, citing the DBs ability to jump routes as just one example of this improvement on the defensive end.

On the new speed burst, Manuel said it would help you burst through a hole once it opens. When a hole opens up, you click the trigger and you will see your back burst through the opening in the line, adding a new mini-game element within the run game. Scat backs who live to run in space are even more dangerous this year with the new line play and run game features as any bit of space could make them especially deadly.

Another visual addition to the gameplay will be the different looking line play up front.

"The line play is a lot more violent. These guys aren't just standing there like before. I think they call it the waltz around here? These guys are really hitting each other up front, it looks better."

Manuel was also impressed with the new playbooks, which play closer to the teams offensive styles than ever before, "All of the playbooks are very detailed and very different. You see teams like Oregon and Stanford with two completely different play books this year. They're incredibly realistic and varied."

With all of the new emphasis on the run game, some fans have already expressed some concern about a lack of attention with the passing game. I had those same fears and asked Manuel about what was different with the passing game this year.

"One thing I do like about the passing game is that if you are late on a pass, it's going to be a knockdown or an interception. Timing is everything. Last year if you dropped back and accidentally hit a button your guy would still catch the pass, this year you're done if you do that. The defense will make you pay."

The pocket continues to get some attention this year too. You'll be punished even more for big drop backs, with the QB drop backs looking a little better this year versus last according to Manuel.

Manuel had experience playing with Alabama, LSU, and (of course) Florida State in NCAA Football 14. Manuel did seem impressed with the game and the improvements made on both sides of the ball this year. The additions do all sound great, we are expecting to get our first chance to see and feel NCAA in action first hand in the coming months.


NCAA Football 14 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 roadman @ 04/03/13 03:02 PM
That doesn't mean the game is overpowering to the offense though. Manuel said he felt the game was much smarter when it came to how defenders react to the ball and what you are doing, citing the DBs ability to jump routes as just one example of this improvement on the defensive end.

Another visual addition to the gameplay will be the different looking line play up front.

"The line play is a lot more violent. These guys aren't just standing there like before. I think they call it the waltz around here? These guys are really hitting each other up front, it looks better."

Good article.

The waltz = pattycake?

Good deal if that is gone.
 
# 2 DeuceDouglas @ 04/03/13 03:07 PM
Hopefully this is in Madden and they designed some sort of spacial awareness, rather than assignment, to the blockers. Nothing is worse than running a WR screen and having three blockers go out and just stand there dumbfounded as the corner runs through them all untouched to pick off the pass. As well as having a guard pull and run right past a guy rather than chip or block him.
 
# 3 soonermagic88 @ 04/03/13 03:08 PM
Yup, im officialy riding first class on the hype train!!
Baring any horrific showings during some long gameplay videos, this year is looking promising. If they have fixed the d line too, then im sold.
 
# 4 jmik58 @ 04/03/13 03:45 PM
Hopefully the speed burst through an open lane isn't some arcade boost. IRL it's just a runner going at about 50-75% and then kicking it in to full speed -- nothing above their actual ability.
 
# 5 BLACKjersey53 @ 04/03/13 03:50 PM
What?! Linemen blocking down field?! More violent line play? Having been an offensive/defensive lineman for 10+ years, this has me riding first class on the hype train.
 
# 6 DJ @ 04/03/13 04:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmik58
Hopefully the speed burst through an open lane isn't some arcade boost. IRL it's just a runner going at about 50-75% and then kicking it in to full speed -- nothing above their actual ability.
I wonder how that will work if you use Auto-Sprint?

The OL interaction that Manuel describes sounds too good to be true. Hopefully we get to see what he was talking about soon.
 
# 7 knighthawksfan @ 04/03/13 04:13 PM
Looks pretty good and I can't wait for this one too come out so I can play with my az wildcats!!!!!!!!!!
 
# 8 Bolt957 @ 04/03/13 04:22 PM
What EA needs to start doing is bringing in players currently in college football that play each position and actually sit down and talk about how to improve the game as a whole in gameplay. Then let the players give them insights on how to react to certain situations throughout the course of a college football game. It would be so much easier.
 
# 9 jpdavis82 @ 04/03/13 04:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bolt957
What EA needs to start doing is bringing in players currently in college football that play each position and actually sit down and talk about how to improve the game as a whole in gameplay. Then let the players give them insights on how to react to certain situations throughout the course of a college football game. It would be so much easier.
They did that with the Offensive Line blocking this year

http://kotaku.com/ncaa-football-14-p...e-ol-468398387
 
# 10 grabursock55 @ 04/03/13 04:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ
I wonder how that will work if you use Auto-Sprint
From what I gathered in the articles I have read today, I believe auto sprint is completely out of the game.

But your player will automatically build up to their top speed either way... the R trigger now just serves as a faster way for you to accelerate.
 
# 11 RandyBass @ 04/03/13 05:30 PM
Maulers on the line! Gimme some maulers.
 
# 12 ncaafootball14markus @ 04/03/13 06:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpdavis82
They did that with the Offensive Line blocking this year

http://kotaku.com/ncaa-football-14-p...e-ol-468398387
this is great news...

i really wish they'd upgrade the equipment though

this is so sad that the 2-bar johnny manziel facemask is still not in the game.
 
# 13 DJ @ 04/03/13 11:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by grabursock55
From what I gathered in the articles I have read today, I believe auto sprint is completely out of the game.

But your player will automatically build up to their top speed either way... the R trigger now just serves as a faster way for you to accelerate.
I was a fan of auto-sprint. Won't be happy if it has been removed.
 
# 14 buckeyedawgtribe @ 04/04/13 08:13 AM
Gameplay...Gameplay...Gameplay... "Nothing else Matters" Metallica
 
# 15 guaps @ 04/04/13 09:00 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ
I was a fan of auto-sprint. Won't be happy if it has been removed.
It's still there... kinda. From what I've read about NCAA is seems like autosprint as we know it is gone, but the game now uses the system from NHL, where players automatically accelerates to their respective top speeds if the distance allows it.

I think the new speed burst fuctionally in NCAA (which is a lot better than a sprint button, IMO) will function a lot like NHL's hustle button. The hustle button allows your player to reach top speed faster, but at a penalty to having less agility. Combined with the improved fatigue, you'll hopefully experience that players, who makes a lot of cuts, jukes and speed bursts will have less top speed, agility and acceleration at the end of the game.

Hopefully they've also implemented an improved dual-running back system with the new playcalling, so you don't have to use formation subs to prevent your RB from getting too fatigued.
 
# 16 jaymoe83 @ 04/04/13 09:46 AM
I haven't bought an NCAA game in years but that might change this year with this dramatic improvements. I was tired of using teams and the passing game felt like a setup, a simple throw and catch or knock down system. No type of contact between wr and cb/s at all. The running game was mechanic, everything was pretty much mechanic.
 
# 17 reMicXz @ 04/04/13 10:51 AM
i've been confirmed for buying this game since about December since i've never had an issue enjoying NCAA games outside of the freezing issue every year. Unlike Madden which got boring after the first season was completed. I still love NCAA 13 even with it's few issues. But with these reviews and promising changes to major issues in the past, to hell with the hype train i'll be driving my hype lambo in the HOV for the next 3 months. Despite that scrub Denard Robinson being on the cover. ill just have to make a custom box cover Go Buckeyes
 
# 18 CHIEFxxROCKEM @ 04/04/13 11:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ
I wonder how that will work if you use Auto-Sprint?

The OL interaction that Manuel describes sounds too good to be true. Hopefully we get to see what he was talking about soon.
I thought auto sprint was taken out this yeae
 
# 19 DJ @ 04/04/13 01:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by guaps
It's still there... kinda. From what I've read about NCAA is seems like autosprint as we know it is gone, but the game now uses the system from NHL, where players automatically accelerates to their respective top speeds if the distance allows it.

I think the new speed burst fuctionally in NCAA (which is a lot better than a sprint button, IMO) will function a lot like NHL's hustle button. The hustle button allows your player to reach top speed faster, but at a penalty to having less agility. Combined with the improved fatigue, you'll hopefully experience that players, who makes a lot of cuts, jukes and speed bursts will have less top speed, agility and acceleration at the end of the game.

Hopefully they've also implemented an improved dual-running back system with the new playcalling, so you don't have to use formation subs to prevent your RB from getting too fatigued.
Well, that is a little concerning. The CPU in NHL seemed to always hustle with no penalty. I hope that isn't true for NCAA.
 
# 20 Reed1417 @ 04/04/13 01:19 PM
This is all fantastic news!! Who else is hyped?! =D
 

« Previous12Next »

Post A Comment
Only OS members can post comments
Please login or register to post a comment.