History of american college football Pittsburgh success passing
Pittsburgh, like Notre Dame, was virtually unknown in football until it specialized in the forward pass. It later hired the renowned Glenn (Pop) Warner as coach, and in 1916 Pittsburgh's team had such fine success that it gained rating as the national champion. Other small colleges -Washington and Jefferson, Centre (of Kentucky), etc.-depending upon a passing attack, leaped quickly into the rays of the national spotlight, and the era when "might is right" in American football passed into history.
The first college to number its football players was Washington and Jefferson in 1908. The idea was picked up from the practice of numbering track athletes. For some reason, Washington and Jefferson abandoned the system shortly there-after and players were not numbered again until 1913, when Amos Alonzo Stagg made the experiment at University of Chicago. Prior to then, colleges generally took the attitude that the players were recognizable without numbers to the students and the graduates, and it didn't matter whether the other patrons at games knew who they were. The confusion in the minds of the spectators, who could not identify competing players, was augmented on rainy days when the players became so smeared with mud that even the rival uniforms lost distinguishing colors. Since there were no loudspeakers and megaphones were not used and since few colleges used a scoreboard in any part of the grounds, spectators often left games not knowing who had made the scores and, on some occasions, not sure who had won the game. One reporter of the era became muddled during a closing play of a rather important game (Army-Navy) and flashed a game-winning touchdown for the wrong team. Repeatedly, backfield men who, long before, had retired to the benches, were credited with making touchdowns, or field goals, that were the work of their substitutes. Explanations of who made tackles during important plays rarely was attempted by writers, because few knew, as a certainty, who was in action.