Rutgers and New Jersey (later known as Princeton) faced off in what is considered to be the first American football game ever played on Nov. 6, 1869. The game took place in New Brunswick, New Jersey, with an audience of about 100 on hand, according to Rutgers.
Rutgers won 6-4. The game’s rules were far different than they are today. The teams were made up of 25 players and the goal of the game was to kick the ball in the opponent’s goal. Aside from kicking, players were allowed to bat the ball with their hands, feet, heads and sides. Carrying or throwing the ball was not permitted.
Also, there were 10 games played within the whole game, hence the 6-4 final score. Each time a team scored a goal, they were awarded a point and a new game began. The two teams faced off again in the second and only other game of the 1869 college football season one week later. New Jersey got revenge with an 8-0 victory.
While these games looked nothing like what we see Saturdays these days, they sparked an interest in football and are a huge reason why the sport we know and love today exists.