What kind of changes was made to improve the running game?
BH: As mentioned before, the Infinity Engine 2 goes a long way to improving realism and eliminating legacy issues like the swerve. We’ve also added a ball carrier avoidance animation which will let running backs and scrambling QBs avoid offensive linemen who are engaged in blocks. Since you don’t have to worry about tripping over your own man you can focus more on finding the hole and shedding defenders. The addition of the Infinity Engine 2 and the Force Impact system were huge upgrades for the running game, but those improvements would have fallen flat if there were not also big upgrades made to run blocking. A new targeting system has been implemented which will prevent guys from peeling off at the last second to go after a linebacker that has no impact on the play rather than blocking the safety that’s closing in on the ballcarrier. Additionally each running play has had their blocking assignments updated vs. each front so that the linemen are targeting the correct players at the snap.
There have been improvements made to the CPU ballcarriers as well so that they are more intelligent in their actions. In the past it was not difficult to shut down the CPU’s running game, but this year be prepared to give up some yards if you are not focused on shutting down their attack.
My favorite improvement for the running game though is the upgrades to the option game. Not only did the blocking overhaul help tremendously with running the option, but the entire option system has been overhauled and is an absolute blast to run. There are over 30 new option types including midline options and the shovel option. If you are a fan of Oregon’s up tempo spread option attack or if you want to go old school with an old Wishbone attack the option is where it’s at in this year’s game.