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[[File:1895 Auburn - Georgia football game at Piedmont Park in Atlanta Georgia.jpg|left|300px|thumbnail|Figure 2. Auburn vs. Georgia football game in 1895.]]
Up until the 19th century, many versions of what can be called mob football existed. In fact, this variety of football
may have inspired alternative ideas about the development of American football, although the formation of American football was ultimately tied to the development of rugby. Older American universities, particularly Harvard and Yale, had developed student football traditions.<ref>For more on the origins and influence of mob football, rugby, and other related sports, see: <i>The DNA of Rugby Football A Short History of the Origin of Rugby Football</i>. 2015. Partridge Africa.</ref> These games initially had few clear rules except masses of students would play together and two sides would compete to possess a ball and try to achieve some points with this ball. The games were more like soccer but much more violent. In fact, some places began banning the sports due to the excessive violence.
Things began to change, however, by 1869, when Rutgers and Princeton played what effectively became known as the first intercollegiate football game.<ref>For more on the first game and early history of American football, see: Whittingham, Richard. 2001. <i>Rites of Autumn: The Story of College Football</i>. New York: Free Press, pg. 30</ref>. This game was still very different from American football but was a watershed because it standardized the game, with rules being set prior to the match. Furthermore, early coaches, names of positions, and many early strategies have their origin with this game, effectively making it a key moment in the history of American football. Nevertheless, scoring involved kicking the ball, which was the origin of the field goal, and the two teams each had 25 players. In 1876, an association of Harvard, Columbia, and Yale formed a group that formalized rules, although kicking was the way in which a team would score points. That was the year the first formal Thanksgiving game was also played. By 1875, what became the touchdown was invented. It was only by 1881 that the touchdown took precedent over the field goal. Throwing the football first occurred in 1895, which only emerged as a team was desperate to score before time ran out.<ref>For more on the late 19th century development of American football, see: Coombs, Danielle Sarver, and Bob Batchelor, eds. 2013. <i>American History through American Sports: From Colonial Lacrosse to Extreme Sports</i>. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger.</ref>