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1907 carlisle indians

DATELINE Nov. 23, 1907 – The Carlisle Indians Play a Final Game That Changed the Rules

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In the last game of the season, the Carlisle Indians (9-1) took on the Big Ten champs, the heavily favored University of Chicago. Worse, the Indians had lost their star quarterback, Frank Mt. Pleasant, to a broken thumb. Over 27,000 Chicago fans (below) were eager for a “massacre at Marshall Field.” Chicago’s coach, Amos Alonzo Stagg, was Pop Warner’s rival in trick plays and experimenting with the new passing game. To shut down the Indians’ air attack, Stagg had a new trick: the first “pass defense.” It was simple. When the ball’s snapped, knock down the Indians go-to receivers, Exendine and Gardner. If they get up and run, knock ‘em down again. It was all legal. During the game, it worked…

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