|First Intercollegiate Game
you ready for some football? New Jersey was ready for football
before anyone else. The first college football game ever was
played in New Jersey.
far different from the game we know today, Rutgers beat Princeton
6-4 on Nov. 6, 1869. A few hundred fans gathered in New Brunswick
to watch the game.
men took the field for each team. The game was a mix of soccer
and rugby, which is what American football is based on. The
teams used the rules of the London Football Association.
players on each team moved all around the field as the offense.
Two players on each team stayed near the opponent’s goal
to try to sneak through the defense and score. The other 11
players stayed in their own territory as the defense.
score counted as a game. Ten games completed the contest. Following
each score, the teams changed direction. The ball was only
advanced by kicking or batting it. Players could not carry
Ivy League schools soon joined Rutgers and Princeton in playing
this new brand of football. Princeton dominated the early days
of college football. The team was considered national champion
more than ten times in the 1800s.
the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) was formed.
The NCAA is divided into three divisions. Today, Rutgers continues
to carry the torch for college football in New Jersey as the
state’s only Division I-A team. A few other New Jersey
colleges have Division I-AA teams and the state is home to
a number of Division III programs.