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Follow the dark path or use the light

FAQ/Strategy Guide

by Matelite

======================== N C A A   F O O T B A L L   0 8 ======================

                             FAQ/Strategy Guide
                                 Xbox 360
                               Version 0.15
                           Started: July 20, 2007
                        Last Updated: July 21, 2007

This guide is Copyright (c)2007 Matelite (Patrick "Petey" Surber). All rights 

====================== T A B L E   O F   C O N T E N T S ======================
To find your favorite team or a subject you're looking for, press CTRL + F to 
search this document for anything. Most know this, but for those computer 
illiterate folks out there, that's a good trick. 

1. What's New?
2. Intro
3. Rules/General Strategy
4. Terminology/Abbreviations
5. FAQs
6. Offense- General
   A. Running 
   B. Passing
   C. Philosophies
   D. Situational
      a. 3rd down
      b. Red-Zone
      c. Goal line
   E. Two-Minute Offense
7. Defense- General
   A. Run
   B. Pass
   C. Blitz
   D. Situational
      a. 3rd down
      b. Red-Zone
      c. Goal line
   E. Philosophies
8. Special Teams
   A. Return game
   B. Kicking (kickoff)
   C. Kicking (Field Goal/PAT)
   D. Punting
   E. Fakes
9. Dynasty/Recruiting
10. Campus Legend Mode
11. Minigames
12. EA Highlights
13. Team-by-team Breakdown and Strategies
14. Special Thanks
15. Contact Information
16. Legal Stuffs

============================ 1. W H A T ' S   N E W ===========================

Version .15
-Started the FAQ
-Completed first five and last three sections
-Completed the running game plays for the Ace, Flexbone, and Wishbone 

Version .25
-Running game completed for the Power I, Shotgun, and I formations
-A start on the passing game- Routes & How to throw to them 

================================= 2. I N T R O ================================

Ever since I can remember, I've loved football. Growing up in Texas, Friday 
nights are dominated by High School football, Saturdays are ruled by college 
football, and Sundays are spent watching the NFL. For me, it was always the 
Longview Lobos on Friday, Texas A&M Aggies and Miami Hurricanes on Saturday, 
and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. However, I grew to love watching all teams 
play if a game is on, and developed a group of respected teams and disrespected 
teams. I've always loved college best because it's a mix of the pure passion of 
high school ball with the skill and athleticism of the NFL. Add in rivalries, 
bowl games, traditions, and a national stage, and you've got my dream sport. EA 
sports has made Madden, the pro football game, for years. Since 2001, they've 
made NCAA football, and since 2001, I've purchased the game. Just this year did 
I get NCAA for a "next-gen" system, and I'm glad I did. While some of the finer 
points of presentation are taken out, the amazing visuals and smooth gameplay, 
as well as other additions to presentation make it worth the sacrifice. And 
next year, we'll probably get what was lost back. While many more buy Madden 
every year, a good number buy NCAA. I'm one of those for many reasons.

============= 3. R U L E S   &   G E N E R A L   S T R A T E G Y ==============

There are some out there who are new to the game, so I included this section. I 
know that while many buy this game yearly (and have for many years) but I 
figured if I help at least one person out, it was worth it. 

A quarterback is usually the player to receive a snap from the center. He then 
usually does one of three things: hand the ball of to the halfback, drop back 
and throw a pass to a receiver or tight end, or drop back to pass and run with 
the ball himself (or else on an option or designed run). If he's tackled before 
he can pass, the ball is spotted where he was tackled at. 

The halfback and fullback both usually receive handoffs on running plays. Most 
of the time, though, the fullback blocks if he's in the game. On passing plays, 
the halfback and fullback either stay and help block for the quarterback, or 
are receivers themselves. Rarely do these two players pass, but it happens on 
designed trick plays.
The wide receivers block on running plays and run routes to catch passes on 
passing plays. Rarely, on designed trick plays, will these players receive a 
handoff or throw a pass. 

The offensive line's job is to block for the halfback or protect the 
quarterback. These players don't do much else. There are many blocking schemes, 
but they are done automatically, so you usually won't have to worry about 
executing the plays. However, you can take control of one of these players and 
block yourself. 

The tight end is a versatile player who can serve as an offensive lineman or 
wide receiver. He can block or go out for a pass. 

The defensive line's job is to tie up the offensive line to allow the 
linebackers to make a tackle on running plays. Sometimes, though, they'll 
completely fight through a block and make a tackle behind the line of scrimmage 
themselves. They also serve to provide a pass rush to either make the 
quarterback throw before he wants to, usually resulting in an incomplete pass 
or interception, or to tackle the quarterback resulting in a sack. Rarely do 
defensive linemen help cover the pass.

The linebackers are the main defensive players. They can serve to provide a 
pass rush, defend the pass, stop the run, and do anything really. They must be 
athletic and strong at the same time. 

The safeties, strong and free, are the smaller, faster players who usually 
serve to defend against the pass. They do blitz and support the run stopping 
game, but not often. They are usually the last line of defense in running 
plays, and the one to make the tackle in passing plays.

Cornerbacks are strictly for defending the pass, and generally only make the 
tackle on outside runs. Their job is to cover receivers and knock the pass 
down, or if unsuccessful, tackle the receiver after the catch is made. 

The kicker's job is to kick field goals, extra points, and kickoffs. He's 
usually a very small player with a strong leg. 

The punter does nothing but punt to the other team (more on why he punts 
later). He has a strong leg as well, but he also will need to have a decent 

The return man is usually a receiver, halfback, or defensive back who has the 
most speed on the team. His job is to receive a punt or kickoff, and return it 
back up the field as far as possible.

The general object of the game is to score more points than the opponent. At 
the end of the day, there are all sorts of stats, but the scoreboard is the one 
that matters at the end of the day. For example, the Arizona Cardinals 
outplayed the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, but lost due to about 3 
or 4 big plays by their defense and special teams. Points are scored in many 

Points are scored in one of four ways. Six points are awarded for a touchdown 
(there are many ways to score a touchdown). One point is awarded for a point 
after attempt in which the kicker kicks a field goal from the 3 yard line (the 
line of scrimmage is the 3, the actual kick comes from about the 8). Also, two 
points can be obtained if the ball-carrier crosses the goal line on a play run 
from the 3 yard line. Three points are awarded for a kicked Field Goal (more on 
this later). Two points are awarded for a safety. 

A touchdown is awarded when a runner crosses the goal line while holding the 
football. The runner can be a halfback who has taken a handoff or pass, a 
receiver who has taken a handoff or pass, a quarterback who has taken a snap, 
or a defender who has recovered a turnover. Also, a receiver can catch a pass 
while in the end zone, and that's a touchdown as well. In the event of a 
turnover, the defender can return the ball if not tackled. On kickoffs and 
punts, the return man can also score, but it's more difficult because all 11 of 
the other team attack him with only 10 blockers.

The kicker must kick the ball between the uprights, and above the crossbar. 
This can be easy or difficult depending on the distance and angle of the kick. 
From up close, any kicker should be able to make a kick. From a distance, the 
kick becomes more difficult because the ball must clear the crossbar while 
maintaining a good trajectory.

A safety is a rare event in which the ball carrier is tackled in his own end 
zone, or a lose ball is knocked back through the end zone without being 
recovered. Two points are awarded. 

The first way the ball can be turned over is on downs. A team has 4 downs to 
make 10 yards. Each time they get their 10 yards, they also get a fresh set of 
downs to make 10 new yards. If they fail to get the 10 yards, the ball goes 
over to the other team.

Usually, if players haven't achieved a first down after 3 attempts, they punt 
to prevent turning the ball over on downs. The punter punts to the other team, 
usually quite a few yards, to give the ball to the other team, but quite a few 
yards away from the end zone. If a punt is blocked, it becomes a live ball in 
which either team can recover. If an offensive player picks up the ball and 
does not return it past the first down marker, the ball goes over on downs. 

A fumble is when the ball carrier drops the ball before his knee touches the 
ground when tackled. Once the ball is dropped, it's live and either team can 
recover. A defender can pick the ball up and run with it, but not if he falls 
on it. Also, if a pass is thrown backwards, and the ball is not complete, it 
counts as a fumble. 

A forward pass, if not caught, is not considered a fumble, but an incomplete 
pass in which yards are neither gained nor lost. If the ball is caught by the 
defense, they have possession of the ball. It can be returned, and is usually 
results in good field position for the defense due to the speed of the 

If any of these take place in the defender's end zone, the ball is placed on 
the 20 assuming he is tackled in his own end zone. If he takes the ball out, 
his team takes over where he is tackled. If he leaves the end zone and is 
tackled in it, it counts as a safety. 

After scoring a touchdown or field goal, a team has to kick off to the other 
team. They can kick it onsides in attempt to get it back, but this is usually 
only attempted in desperation when trailing late in the game even after 

For additional questions, please visit this website:

========= 4. T E R M I N O L O G Y   &   A B B R E V I A T I O N S ============

Once again, to many of you football gurus, this is old news to you and you can 
skip past this section. Subconsciously, I'll type jargon that those not 
familiar to the game (and possibly those who are) will not understand. This 
section is to help those understand just what I'm talking about.

I. Abbreviations
HB- Halfback
RB- Runningback
QB- Quarterback
FB- Fullback
WR- Wide Receiver
TE- Tight End
OL- Offensive line(man)
K- Kicker
P- Punter
DL- Defensive Lineman
LB- Linebacker
DB- Defensive back (Safety or cornerback)
LOS- Line of scrimmage
TD- Touchdown
FG- Field Goal
TO- Timeout
PA- Play Action

II. Terminology
Back- Halfback or Fullback usually
Backer- Linebacker
Box- The area between offensive tackles 4 yards off the line of scrimmage
Halfback- Runningback
Line- Refers to the set of all offensive or defensive linemen
Lateral- A backwards pass in which the runner who receives the ball can 
continue to run. However, since it is a backwards pass, if the ball is dropped, 
it is live. 
Mesh- Where a halfback or fullback runs after receiving a handoff. Coaches 
preach to "hug the mesh" meaning stay running where the play says to go, even 
if it doesn't look good.
Pitch- Lateral
Pick- Interception
Play Action- A fake to a runner to make the play look as though it's a run, but 
is instead a pass
Pooch- A kickoff in which the kicker kicks the ball high in the air but a short 
Six- A touchdown
Squib- A kickoff in which the kicker kicks the ball along the ground instead of 
in the air
Wide out- Wide Receiver
Tailback- Halfback

If there is anything else in this guide that you don't understand what I'm 
talking about, feel free to e-mail or IM me (my contact info is listed at the 
end of this guide) and I'll add it.

=================================== 5. F A Q s ================================

Surfing this board from the last few weeks, I've seen many questions asked many 
times, so in hopes of removing some of them, I've decided to add this section.

1. Is there co-op (two players playing on the same team) in this game?
1a. No. For some reason, EA kept it out of this game. I don't like it any more 
than anyone else, but until next year, we just have to deal with it.

2. What are the trick plays, and how do I find them?
2a. Most people are referring to the Hook and Ladder and Statue of Liberty 
plays that Boise State ran in last year's exciting Fiesta Bowl. The Statue of 
Liberty is found in Boise State's playbook in the Ace formation with three 
receivers bunched. The name of the play is "Statue" and looks like a simple 
counter trap. This play rarely works, as it's a simple draw play which have 
never worked much in NCAA. The Hook and Ladder, while more effective, is more 
risky. It's in the Hail Mary formation and it's name is Circus. The X receiver 
will run a route to the inside. To execute the play, throw to him just as he 
breaks inside, and as the other receiver runs by, press LB to pitch it to him. 
Please note that there is no guarantee the pass will be complete, or the pitch 
will be caught. Also, if the pitch ISN'T caught, it will be treated as a 
fumble, so it's an especially risky play. 

3. What's the deal with West Virginia?
3a. Many people (online and off) will play as West Virginia because they have 
an easy offensive system with great players to execute it. The quarterback, Pat 
White, has speed, as does the tailback Steve Slaton. It's mainly a spread 
option style of offense, and is easy to execute with the athleticism of White. 
Also, in pass plays, White can run away from pressure and he's hard to bring 
down. There are ways to counter this style of offense if run correctly. 

4. Why are there no names, and how do I get rosters?
4a. There are no names on the players because in order to put them, the 
athletes would have to receive monetary benefits. The NCAA does not allow it's 
athletes to receive any kind of money or gifts, so EA can't pay the players to 
use their names. In order to get them, you can type them in yourself (which 
takes quite some time, especially without a keyboard). Also, some websites have 
their own rosters which can be downloaded and transferred to the game using 
Xplorer and a memory card. 

5. Is there any way to hide what play I'm calling? My opponent keeps looking at 
my play and selecting to defend it.
5a. Yes. By pressing A, you select a play. To hide your play, press and hold A 
on the play you want. Don't let go. Instead, keep holding A and move to another 
play. The play you release A on won't be selected, but will look as if you 
selected that play. Instead, the play you held A on will be selected. This is 
especially effective when you select a play-action pass and make it look as 
though you're selecting a running play similar to the RB mesh point. 

6. Are the mascots, cheerleaders, cannons, referees, coaches, footprints, or 
fans in the game? I want the game to feel like college football.
6a. Unfortunately, no. EA cut back on quite a bit in order to make room for the 
smooth, visually stunning gameplay. Once again, I don't like it any more than 
you, but we have to deal with it.

7. Can I make a playoff system? I like it more than this BCS crap!
7a. Once again, no. The BCS and NCAA have a contract, and it's doubtful that 
the BCS would let the NCAA promote a system which is more than likely more 
successful than the BCS.

8. How do I do the lead blocker?
8a. Before a play starts, the offensive player can press B to cycle through 
players. Some eligible players can go in motion. Once the desired player is 
selected, press LB on the player and you'll control them until you make a block 
or press the A button to switch. 

9. Do players jerseys get dirty or do the fields mess up?
9a. Yes. Sorta. On the stadiums with natural grass, players jerseys do get 
dirty. I've especially noticed this on Notre Dames stadium. Fields, while they 
don't tear up, do take on water. I've seen many puddles in the stadiums towards 
the end of the game which look real. 

10. How can I high-step into the end zone? In previous years I could!
10a. When you're far enough ahead, press and hold the B button. If you're not 
far enough ahead, a simple spin will be executed, temporarily stalling the 
runner allowing the defense to catch up. 

11. What's with the fumbles?
11a. Yes, I've noticed a fumbling problem too. This, and the high amount of 
picks can be fixed with sliders. Also, pressing the button to cover/protect the 
ball can be used. 

12. What is Super Sim?
12a. A special feature which will run plays automatically. They can be watched 
by the player, or immediately simulated. This is good when a comfortable lead 
has been obtained. Remember, it IS risky because the computer won't always do 
what you want it to. It could throw an interception, and if you're extremely 
unlucky, be returned for a touchdown. 

13. How can I view the highlights? 
13a. See the section entitled EA Highlights.

14. Is my high school in this game? 
14a. Kinda sorta. You pick your home town and name your high school. You'll go 
up against random high schools from that state named by the city. For example, 
you'll play Tyler High instead of Tyler Lee or John Tyler. There are many 
different color combinations as well. Luckily, I was able to make my school 
close to how it really looks. The state championship game is usually played in 
the stadium of a big university of that state. 

15. Did you play football?
15a. Yes. I started 13 games at left guard on a 12-1 5A Texas team, the 
Longview Lobos in 2004. We ran an option offense when it boils down to it, with 
a large emphasis on the fullback (one of the few Texas teams who still run the 
ball as a mainstay attack). We won district with a win over the eventual State 
Champions Tyler Lee 34-31 in overtime, and only lost to Lufkin 31-21 in the 3rd 
round because our fullback broke his hand and fumbled 4 times. That and 
Jorvorskie Lane is an amazing halfback. I didn't play college ball, but I know 
many collegiate coaches and athletes, and a few pro assistant coaches.

=============================== 6. O F F E N S E ==============================

The following strategies and philosophies are what work for me and are my 
personal preferences. These are the ways I run plays, and when I call them. 
They've usually worked for me, but feel free to build on them. Every gamer has 
their own style of play, and it's good to develop your own and not copy off of 
anyone else's.  

Your goal, remember, is to score points. I know this sounds simple, but many 
forget this when selecting plays and strategies. You can gain a thousand yards, 
but it won't mean anything if you don't convert those yards into points, 
specifically touchdowns. I'm not saying that field goals are bad; they're not. 
But everyone prefers 7 points to 3. The object is not to complete passes or get 
first downs. It's to score points.

To get first downs is good, don't get me wrong. They keep you on the field, and 
it's hard for the opponent to score when their offense is not on the field. I 
like to sustain drives which take about 12 plays and a little over 3 minutes 
off the clock. Not always does it work this way and I'm forced to improvise. 
While I like to sustain drives, I'll take a big play if it ultimately results 
in points, the main goal of the offense. I do turn the ball over, because no 
team is perfect. I also have to punt at times. 

When selecting plays, remember that you could gain 3 yards on every play and do 
well. If nothing else is working, start running power plays which are a sure 3 
yards, and protect the ball. You can pad stats later. Right now, you need to 
score points, and 3 yards and a cloud of dust is a great way to do it. 

******************************RUNNING GAME*************************************

There are many different types of runs and formations, some which disguise the 
run better, but are harder to run out of. Others make no bones about the fact 
that it's a running play, but usually work better even so. 

===The Ace Formation===
There are a few different variations of the Ace formation. The Ace formations 
feature one back, the halfback. There is no fullback, so it looks like this:

x        x x B x x x       x       
             Q           x  


Assuming that Q is the Quarterback, B is where the ball/center is, and H is the 
halfback. The Tight End (the x three spaces to the right of the B) is in the 
game. Other formations have two tight ends:

x      x x x B x x x       x       


---The Dive Play---
Formations with two tight ends are easier to run out of, as there are more 
blockers right along the line of scrimmage. The simple runs out of this 
formation don't involve a lead blocker, and are very straightforward. A simple 
dive play looks as follows:

          o       o
            o  |o        o                
o        o  o  |o   o      o
x        x x B x x x       x       
             Q |         x  

As you can see, the receivers will block man-on-man with the DBs. The left 
tackle will block the left end, the right center and guard will block the left 
backer and left tackle. The right guard takes the right linebacker, and the 
right tackle and tight end get the right tackle and right end. The quarterback 
doesn't block anyone, leaving the two safeties to make a tackle. This, of 
course, assumes that all of the linemen block their men, which doesn't always 
happen. Fortunately, if the receivers miss a block, it won't effect the play 
much because it's an inside run. However, if the right tackle or center miss 
their block, the defender is one-on-one with the halfback which could cause 
disaster, and the play is stopped for a minimal gain or even a loss. Should 
everyone pick up their blocks, make a move on the safety, and you could be off 
to the races. However, the dive isn't a play designed to score from a long 

---The Stretch Play---
The stretch play is similar to a dive, except it revolves around the runner 
finding a hole of his own instead of following the mesh. All of the linemen 
will zone to the right in a simple play. The mesh will look as follows:

          o       o
            o   o        o                
o        o  o   |o  o      o
x        x x B x| x x       x       
             Q  /        x  

However, a hole could open up back between the left guard and tackle. Stretch 
plays have hardly worked in the past in NCAA games, and I'd advise against 
running one in the 08 version; this version. However, that is how one works. 

---The Counter Trap---
Like the name indicates, the play revolves around two things: a counter step of 
the runner to make it look like a sweep to one side, only to take a handoff the 
other way, and a trap block by an offensive lineman, usually a guard. The mesh 
looks like this:

          o       o
            o   o/      o                
o        o  o   o   o      o
x        x x B x x x       x       
             Q/          x  

The pulling lineman looks like this:

          o       o
            o   o /      o                
o        o  o   o  o        o
x        x x B x x /x       x       
            \-/---/      x  

I took the QB out of the play to make room for the lineman to pull since the QB 
will be out of his way to hand the ball of. I like to use the lead blocker 
feature and pull myself, but some like to let the CPU do it themselves. I know 
I said there was no lead blocker out of this formation, but this is as close to 
one as you'll get. The left tackle mans up on the left end. The left guard 
pulls to block the right end while the center takes the left tackle. The right 
guard takes the right linebacker while the right tackle takes the right 
defensive tackle. The tight end goes to the safety, and the receivers man up on 
the DBs. The left linebacker is unblocked, but a good RB should be able to 
outrun him once he explodes into the secondary. 

There are different types of this play in which the guard might go to the 
backers, or even the safeties. It really depends on the personnel and how 
they're lined up. Once again, this assumes that all of the linemen pick up 
their blocks. It can gain much more yardage than the dive can if everyone does 
pick up their blocks. The worst case scenario is that the center gets beat and 
the left tackle makes the tackle. Because the play takes so long to develop due 
to the counter step of the RB, the play can lose close to 5 yards if that 
happens which isn't good.

---The Sweep---
The sweep is a play designed for the halfback to run around the perimeter and 
reach the outside using speed. Not always is the play blocked perfectly, but 
when done so, can lead to some good yardage. Even if not, it usually results in 
the halfback being one-on-one with a defender where the runner can usually 
dodge the tackle. It also usually has a lineman pull, and looks like this:

          o       o
            o    o       o                
o        o  o   o   o      o
x        x x B x x x  //   x       
             Q  \----//  x  

The QB takes a 3/4 turn to the left and pitches the ball back to the HB who 
runs to his right. The receivers man up as do the tackle and tight end. The 
guard pulls and blocks whoever is free. It could be a DB who got off his block, 
or the safety. Because of this, it usually results in positive yardage, even if 
a player misses his block because the guard picks up the slack, and lets the 
safety make the tackle, which results in quite a bit of yardage. Worst case is 
if the defensive end comes off the block of the tight end and runs straight 
forward and makes the tackle. Because the mesh takes so long to cut upfield, 
it's possible the play can lose 5 yards. However, if the tight end and at least 
one WR get their blocks, the play should result in positive yardage. If you can 
break a tackle or two, you should be in good shape. 

---The Option---
While the option is usually run from an I formation to utilize the fullback, 
both blocking and as an option, it can be run from the Ace formation, although 

          o       o
            o    o       o                
o        o  o   o   o      o
x        x x B x x x  /    x       
             Q-------    x  

The playside guard takes the backside linebacker while the tackle and tight end 
take the defensive tackle and end. The Right backer goes untouched and is the 
pitch man. If he goes for the QB, pitch to the RB by pressing LB. If he attacks 
the RB, use the juke stick to juke left and cut upfield for a nice gain. 
Remember to protect the ball when you're about to get tackled if you're the QB, 
because they have a greater tendency to fumble. Either way, if the receivers 
block, you'll be one-on-one with the safety if you pitch it correctly. A worst-
case scenario is that one of the linemen doesn't block and the QB is tackled 
behind the line for a loss of maybe a yard or two. If the pitch is made and a 
DB comes off a WR block, you could lose 4 or 5 yards. The absolute worst is 
that the pitch is fumbled which happens when a bad pitch is made when a 
defender is in line of the pitch. If a pitch is made early, the backer can 
redirect and tackle the RB behind the line, so let him commit and be patient 
when pitching. Sometimes it's better to take a two-yard loss instead of a 
fumble or 5 yard loss. 

---The Draw Play---
Like the stretch play, the draw has hardly worked over the years, but it's 
worked for me once or twice. And like the countertrap, it can lose yardage due 
to the length of the play to set up. 

          o       o
            o  |o        o                
o        o  o  | o  o      o
x        x x B x x x       x       
             Q |         x  

The play looks like a pass and the RB takes 3 baby steps before receiving the 
handoff. For some reason, it's never worked because something is wrong with the 
way the lineman pass set and then try to run block. I'd advise against running 
this play more than once or twice a game, because it'll usually result in a 
loss of yardage. 

There are many variations of the Ace Formation, but these are the basic running 
plays which you'll find in all of them, and how to execute them. The plays 
shown were all to the right, but can be run to the left as well. They can be 
run with two tight ends, no tight ends, etc. In running plays, where they are 
lined up doesn't usually matter, as the defenders will line up to cover them. 
Like I said, while some coaches will preach to hug the mesh, feel free to 
improvise on any play. If you need to make a cut, do it! Just protect that 

===The Flexbone Formation===
The Flexbone is only run by some of the service academies Air Force and 
especially Navy. I can't remember if Rice still runs it, but they might. 
However, if you're thinking about using either of these playbooks, or the 
Option Run playbook, read up on this formation. It's similar to a basic I, only 
with motion. 

To run this formation, you'll have a fullback and either one or two wingbacks, 
so it will look like this:

          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o       o   o   o   o    
x        x x B x x x                  
        W    Q        W       
This is, of course, with one tight end and one receiver. There are formations 
with no receivers and two tight ends, and no tight ends and two receivers. 
Also, sometimes there won't be a second wingback, and instead a receiver:

          o       o
          o   o    o           o                
o       o   o   o   o    
x        x x B x x x                  
        W    Q                 x

---The Fullback Dive---
This is similar to the countertrap, except it goes to the fullback, and no 
lineman pulls. It's a quick play, and is guaranteed to gain at least one yard. 
The problem is, you need to gain three yards every play to be successful, and 
the play isn't guaranteeing 3 yards. In fact, it usually won't gain more than 5 
or 6 which is still good.  It looks something like this:

          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o       o   o   o   o    
x        x x|B x x x                  
        W   /Q        W       

The linemen will usually just block man-on-man. If the center gets the block on 
the defensive tackle, and the right guard gets the block on the right defensive 
tackle, the play will gain more than 3 yards, even if the backers don't get 
picked up successfully. Because the play develops so quickly with the fullback 
receiving the handoff, only lined up about 3 yards behind the LOS, he'll hit 
the hole fast. Even should a defensive linemen not get blocked, the FB can 
usually power forward for at least a yard or two. Also, make sure to cover up, 
as the fullback is more prone to fumble than a halfback.

---The Triple Option---
This is similar to a triple option out of the I formation which can have two 
different mesh points for the fullback. However, this involves one of the 
wingbacks going in motion like so:

          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o       o   o   o   o    
x        x x B x x x                  
        W    Q        W       

          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o       o   o   o   o    
x        x x B x x x                  
        W    Q        .       
          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o       o   o   o   o    
x        x x B x x x                  
        W    Q        .     
             F   W

          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o       o   o   o   o    
x        x x B x x x                  
        W    Q        .        
             F    .

The ball is usually snapped automatically (another amazing feature of this 
game). You'll press A and the wingback will go in motion. The snap will occur 
about when the Wingback is where he is in the picture, and the fullback will 
take one of the following mesh points:

          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o       o   o   o   o    
x        x x|B x x x                  
        W   |Q              


          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o       o  |o   o   o    
x        x x B x x x                  
        W  | Q               

In the first mesh, the QB takes a 1/4 turn to the left and will option from 
there. In the second, the mesh is off of the guard's outside hip, and the QB 
will take a 3/4 turn before possibly handing off. To hand off, after the ball 
is snapped, press and hold the A button as the FB passes by the QB. This, like 
the fullback dive, will usually at least result in a yard or two, no gain at 
worst, and about a 5 or 6 yard gain at best. If you choose not to give to the 
FB, the QB and WB will option out to the left similar to the ace formation. The 
left Wingback will block the defensive end, and your play will look like this:

          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o    \  o  Fo   o   o    
x     \ Wx x B x x x                  

You'll want to pitch off the safety or linebacker, depending on which reaches 
the QB first. In the diagram above, the fullback is hugging the mesh, even 
without the ball, and the left wingback has stepped up to block the left end. I 
did it this way to show where the QB and right WB go. The overall play will 
look like this:

          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o    \  o  |o   o   o    
x     \  x x B x x x                  
       -W--|-Q       .       
    \       \       .
     \       F    .

Make a good read to decide if you want to give the ball to the fullback (and 
usually get a few good, tough yards), or take it to the outside and risk a big 
loss or fumble, but possibly get closer to 10 or more yards. As one might 
imagine, this play can be run as a mainstay attack, as the fullback, 
quarterback, or either wingback can receive the ball, giving different results 
from a single play. Just remember that with game fatigue, it's best to spread 
the ball around to prevent any one player from getting tired and fumbling or 
running slowly for minimal gains. 

As with the Ace formation, these are only two ways to run the plays. The option 
can go left or right, out of many different flexbone variations, and to either 
wingback, making it a very successful running formation, even if there is no 
variety between plays, but in the decision made instead. The fullback is great 
for grinding the ball and gaining a few yards to keep getting first downs, and 
the other offense off the field. Once again, protect the ball!

===The Wishbone Formation===
This formation is one that makes no bones about the fact that the play is 
likely a run. It's similar to the Flexbone, except with the two backs lined up 
behind the fullback. It looks like this:

          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o       o   o   o   o    
x        x x B x x x                  
          H     H

In addition to the above look, there is one with no tight end and two 
receivers, and one with two tight ends and no receivers. Each have "duplicate" 
plays, meaning the same plays are run just from different looks. 

---The Double Lead/Dive---
The Double Lead is similar to the dive play from the Ace, except there are two 
lead blockers. If the play is run to the left, the ball will go to the right RB 
and he will mesh as follows:

          o       o
         |o   o    o      o                
o       o \ o   o   o    
x        x x B x x x                  
          H     H
The two lead blockers, the FB and the left RB will block as follows:

          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o       o ||o   o   o    
x        x|x B x x x                  
          || Q              
          | \  
          |  F
          H     H
As you can tell, with two lead blockers, it's good vs this defensive formation. 
The defense will have to bring in 8 men in the box in order to stop a double 
lead. Just follow the blockers in, and hope a hole opens. A problem can arise 
when the players just lock up and there is no hole to run through. Even so, 
unless something goes terribly wrong, you should gain at least a few yards, 
especially if it's against a 4-3 or 3-4. 

---The Triple Option---
Similar to the Flexbone version, this is the simple Triple Option with the left 
halfback leading the block and the right halfback giving the QB the option to 

          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o       o   o   o   o    
x      \ x x|B x x x                  
      H     |  
        \    F

This shows the left halfback already running out to block, and as you can see, 
is similar to the Flexbone version. This is with the FB meshing between the 
center and guard, but as shown in the flexbone, he can mesh off the guard's 
outside hip. Similarly, the QB will give a 1/4 turn or 3/4 turn the opposite 
direction (both resulting in the QB facing the same direction) depending on 
where the FB's mesh is. 

---Triple Option Reverse---
This is a triple option, except the FB will mesh to the opposite side of the 
QB, and the QB will make a 3/4 turn, except will have the opportunity to give 
when he's at 1/4. It looks like this:

          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o       o   o | o   o    
x      \ x x B|x x x                  
      H       | 
        \    F

So the QB opens with a 1/4 turn to the right. If he doesn't hand the ball to 
the FB, he completes his circle to run the opposite direction, and the left 
halfback serves as a downfield blocker, and the right halfback serves as the 
pitch option.

---The Power Option---
In this version of the option, the FB and left halfback serve as downfield 
blockers, and the right halfback serve as the pitch option. Therefore, the FB 
no longer meshes, and only serves as a blocker. They block as follows:

          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o       o   o   o   o    
x    \ \ x x B x x x                  
      \ \    Q              
       \ \       
        \ ---F
         -H     H
The QB and right halfback should have a fairly easy time. The worst case is 
that one of the linemen gets beat, and the QB is tackled before he can reach 
the outside (which happens quite often if the difficulty is high and proper 
sliders aren't used. The QB and right halfback will carry out their normal 
option, but it's easier if the perimeter is reached, as the FB now serves as a 
blocker instead of a useless player if the ball is not given to him. The QB and 
right halfback look like this (after the FB and left halfback carry out their 

          o       o
          o   o    o      o                
o       o   o   o   o    
x    H\F x x B x x x                  

If they pick up their blocks, this can be a very successful play. However, keep 
in mind that if you're going to pitch it, the left halfback and fullback, if 
locked up with defenders, can serve as interference to a pitch which can be 
fumbled easily. Just be careful. 


======================= 14. S P E C I A L   T H A N K S =======================
There are a few people who I'd like to give thanks to:

John King- Longview High School's head coach. He taught me everything I know 
about football. This FAQ wouldn't be here without him teaching me the game.

David Lee- The Arkansas Offensive Coordinator and former Dallas Cowboys 
assistant coach. He gave me many looks at the pro football stage, including 
some of the older playbooks. Thanks, and good luck at Arkansas!

My "frends" at the Sports and Racing- NCAA Football Board: Power Stroke Diesel, 
GatorAJ, SW07, Alonzo Mosely, LithiumSodaDeli, Red69Camaro, Tenshisama, 
coopgang, BuckNizut, RebJas, ItOfficial, Magus999, Nick of Five, 
Jamario4Heisman, XxllZeebZllxX, TheElusiveGoat, and any others I missed. Thanks 
for giving me a great place to discuss football, keeping me interested at all 

CJayC and Sailor Bacon- For running this great site, even if I don't agree with 
everything you do.

You, the reader- For reading this guide and giving support and criticism to 
help make it better.

========================== 15. C O N T A C T   I N F O ========================

Feel free to contact me with corrections (I know not everything in this FAQ is 
perfect and never will be) and I'll gladly give you credit in the above 
section. Also, I'd like your feedback, if it helped you, anything. I'm usually 
open for a good chat about football in general as well, so feel free:

E-mail: [email protected]
AIM: t r u n x 3 248
MSN: [email protected]

I'm not usually on MSN, but I check my e-mail daily, and I'm on AIM whenever 
I'm online, so your best bet is to reach me there. Thanks!

========================== 16. L E G A L   S T U F F S ========================

This file is Copyright (c)2007 Matelite (Patrick "Petey" Surber). All rights 
reserved. This file was written by me and me alone unless otherwise noted. No 
website may use this FAQ other than If you'd like to use my guide 
on your site, I'd be more then happy to let you likely, I just ask that you get 
my permission first.