1897 College Football Summary

In a defensive struggle, Cornell and Pennsylvania were deadlock; as the Quakers made defensive stops and then its offense scored as the game was within seconds of being over.

Penn finished the season with 15-0 slate; while Yale, Princeton and Harvard would combine for a 29-2-3 mark; as with Harvard the only one of the three on the former's schedule, losing 15-6.

Princeton's defense didn't allow a point until its season finale against Yale, 6-0.

Princeton's 43-0 season-opening win over Lehigh was its first of 33 wins over this team in the Pre-1937 era. In other game, the Tigers handed Navy it lone setback of the season, 28-0 in the third game of the season.

In the first Illinois-Purdue match-up, the Illini won going away, 34-4.

Throughout college football history, the Notre Dame vs Michigan State contest is one of the best. The Irish won the initial contest, 34-6.

A 6-0-1 Vanderbilt was one of the South's strongest teams this fall; as they blanked all of their opponents, 141-0.

Early college football was iron-man as players who started the game would usually finish it through the 1896 season.

A key rule was passed this year: Substitutions may enter the game any time at discretion of captains.

1897 Leaders

  • Offensive Scoring Leader (Most Points Scored)
    Pennsylvania (15-0-0), 463 points
  • Defensive Scoring Leader (Least Points Allowed)
    Princeton (10-1-0), 6 points
  • National Champions (Retroactive)
    Pennsylvania and Yale

Writers J. Parmly Paret and Walter Camp, of The Outing Magazine and Walter Camp and sportswriter, Charles Patterson all named Pennsylvania National Champions.

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