College football in New Jersey celebrates 150 years

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College football returned to New Jersey Friday as Rutgers University kicked off its season.

But what many may not know is that college football has deep ties to New Jersey as the sport celebrates its 150th year.

The very first college football game took place Nov. 6, 1869 between Princeton and Rutgers. Rutgers won that first game with a score of 6-4. But Princeton took their revenge a week later with their own win. A third game was scheduled but ultimately canceled due to faculty complaints about disruption.

Rutgers alumnus and football researcher Steve Greene is writing a soon-to-be-released book about that first game.

“The game played by Rutgers and Princeton on Nov. 6, 1869, was the starting point for the future infrastructure, creation, rules. Everything you know from college football emanated from that game itself,” says Greene.

Greene says that collegiate football caught on big after those first games.

Teams across the country will be commemorating the 150th anniversary all season long. Among the celebrations, Rutgers will be wearing special throwback uniforms and Princeton will play Dartmouth at Yankee Stadium in November to cap anniversary week.

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