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Penn State Football

Information about Penn State Football

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The first recorded game in Penn State football history occurred on November 12, 1881, when Penn State traveled to Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to play Bucknell, known until 1886 as the University of Lewisburg. Penn State won 9–0, which was nine goals to none. At the time, this was really a game of "American rugby. " The father of American football, Walter Camp, did not develop the "scrimmage", the "first down" and the "gridiron" (yard markings) until 1882. Although this game was reported in two State College newspapers and the Mirror (University of Lewisburg campus newspaper), Bucknell denies that this game ever happened. Penn State did not field teams from 1882 through 1886. Penn State played its first season in 1887, but had no head coach for their first five years, from 1887–1891. The teams played its home games on the Old Main lawn on campus in State College, Pennsylvania. They compiled a 12–8–1 record in these seasons, playing as an independent from 1887–1890. In 1891, the Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Football Association (PIFA) was formed. It consisted of Bucknell (University of Lewisburg), Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Haverford, Penn State and Swarthmore. Lafayette and Lehigh were excluded because it was felt they would dominate the Association. Penn State won the championship with a 4–1–0 record. Bucknell's record was 3–1–1 (losing to Franklin & Marshall and tying Dickinson). The Association was dissolved prior to the 1892 season.