Clash of Titans
Games featuring a future Hall of Fame coach on each sideline.
November 24, 1898: Cornell @ Pennsylvania
Pop Warner vs George Woodruff
Pop Warner's success coaching the Georgia football team for two years attracted the attention of his alma mater, Cornell, where he first learned the game as a player. So he returned as head coach in the fall of 1897 for $600 a season.
His first Big Red team finished 5-3-1, including a 4-0 "heartbreaker" loss to archrival Pennsylvania in the annual finale at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. So, in his words, War­ner "was asked to return to coach the squad for the 1898 season. My meager salary was also increased to $800 for the season."
The following season Cornell won their first seven games before falling to Princeton 6-0. Three more victories sent them into the Penn game with a 10-1 record.
George Woodruff had compiled an incredible record in his seven years as coach of the Quakers. Each of his teams won at last 12 games and sported a 93-6 record heading into the Cornell clash. His 1894, 1895, and 1897 teams have retroactively been recognized as national champions.

L-R: George Woodruff, Glenn "Pop" Warner, Cornell Captain Allen Whiting
Woodruff learned football as a guard at Yale from 1885-1888. His teammates included Amos Alonzo Stagg, Pudge Heffelfinger, and Pa Corbin. Woodruff invented the "run­ning guard" and later pioneered the "guards-back" play. He also devised the idea of crash­ing ends on defense as well as the quarterback kick, the place-kick from scrimmage, and the delayed pass.
Warner described football in the last years of the 19th century in his autobio­graphy: "End runs were seldom attempted in this era. Only five yards were to be gained (in three downs) to secure a first down, and in those days no plays were attempted which stood a chance of losing yardage. Straight-ahead running plays or off-tackle plays to either side of the line were the rule and the spectators seldom saw the ball during a play except when it was punted."

1898 Cornell Football Team (1899 Cornellian Yearbook)

1898 Pennsylvania football team
(Penn University Archives & Records Center)
Warner recalled the 1898 Penn game like this: "Cornell had a much better team than Penn that season, but we were not prepared for the conditions under which we were to meet. The game was played in Philadelphia, where all Cornell-Penn games were playing during this era.
"It cannot be denied that a lengthy train trip and an opponent's home field are a handi­cap to a visiting team. But these are to be expected as part of college football and playing against rivals. The handicaps that were not expected were primarily weather-related.
"When our train had departed Ithaca, N.Y., the weather was reasonably good for late November. However, upon reaching Philadelphia we were met by an icy rain and thunder­storm which had set in over the city and would last for nearly two days."

Penn vs Cornell 1898
(Penn University Archives & Records Center)
18,000 "unfortunates" came to Franklin Field on Thanksgiving day for "a drama of dank­ness, dreariness and desolation," as the Philadelphia Inquirer put it.
Warner: "The playing field at Penn quickly became a sea of mud, and during the game both sleet and rain were being driven by such strong winds that they seemed to be of hur­ricane proportions. It was perhaps the worst weather conditions and muddiest field that I ever saw in a game.
"I was still quite young at the coaching game and had never before met such adverse conditions of both stormy weather and a rain-ravaged playing field. To compound my prob­lem, I had neglected to bring a change of spare uniforms for my players."
Cornell won the toss and chose the goal that would give them an advantage with the "diagonal wind." Penn then elected to kick off in order to pin the Big Red deep in their territory. With the backs slipping and sliding, neither team could move the ball. So the contest devolved into a punting duel.
Finally, a series of events led to the first score. Penn's J.P. Gardiner fumbled a punt on his 5y line, and Edwin Sweetland of Cornell fell on the ball. FB Raymond Starbuck hit the center of the line for a 3y gain. After Allen Whiting failed to gain the next snap was fumbled, and a Quaker recovered.
Penn had averted a touchdown but was still in a bad spot. After several runs gained little ground, T.T. Hare dropped back to kick from behind his goal line. He got the punt off, but it angled out of bounds at the 20.
Given another chance, Cornell was frustrated again. Reugenberg gained 5y for a first down. Then Starbuck "hit Penn's centre like a locomotive" for 10y. The Quakers dug in and thwarted the next three rushes to take over on their one. Taking no chances, Hare lined up to punt again, but "three Cornell men brushed their opponents aside like straws" to block the kick. Sweetland fell on the ball behind the goal for a touchdown to make it 4-0. George Young kicked the goal, worth two points. So the first half of the game ended with Cornell leading, 6-0.
Warner: "During the halftime break, we retired to an unheated, old barn which was used during the winter for indoor baseball practice. The icy, cold wind which whistled in between the barn's wooden slats made the intermission almost unbearable. The Cornell players who were sitting on stacks of hay or on the dirt floor suffered terribly. Often I looked around to notice my players, who were still wearig their water-soaked uiforms, shivering or their teeth would be chattering. There was no spare dry clothing for us this side of Ithaca.
"In the Penn locker room, their players were resting in warm, comfortable surroundings. They had removed their heavy, wet uniforms and were given an alcohol rub to increase their blood circulation. Afterwards, they then put on fresh, dry uniforms without pads for the second half.
"Cornell returned for the third quarter while still dressed in their regular padded uni­forms, which were mud-soaked and weighed an extra 20 pounds.
"Penn was late in returning to the field for the third quarter because of all of the special extra attention which they had been receiving. This additional treatment was a benefit to the Penn squad but it was a severe handicap to the Cornell team. We would have been much better off not having an intermission at all."
The second half saw the roles of the teams reversed. Now Cornell faced the wind, which had died down somewhat.
After several exchanges of punts, Penn began a drive from midfield. J.C. McCracken, whose position was "guardsback," and Hare alternated carrying the ball until it was on the 20. Captain John Outland entered with a special call from the sideline. In what was called Penn's "famous delayed pass play," Outland took the snap and passed the ball backward to E Walter Coombs, who immediately returned the ball to Outland, who skirted right end for a touchdown. Outland then kicked the goal that tied the game at six.
Under the rules of the day, Cornell kicked to Penn. That started another punting duel, with the Quakers enjoying an advantage at every exchange until it received the ball at midfield. With the Big Red fighting exhaustion as much as the opponent, a series of runs moved the ball to the 22. After Cornell threw Coombs for a loss on a delayed pass, Hare got away a short kick to the 20.
On third down, C. Young tried to punt the slippery pigskin, but it traveled only 6y. John Hedges picked up the ball and sprinted down the sideline for a touchdown. Outland again kicked the goal to make it 12-6 in favor of Penn.
Cornell never threatened, and the game ended with Penn deep in Big Red territory.
The next day, Penn captain John Outland told the press, "I don't believe a football game was ever played under worse conditions than we had yesterday and I don't see how much worse could exist. ... I never suffered from cold during a football game before, but one minute we would be roasting and the next freezing. I think if we had realized what we were going into before the game, we would have had the game postponed until some later date."
Reference: Pop Warner: Football's Greatest Teacher, The Epic Autobiography of Major College Football's Winningest Coach, Edited by Mike Bynum (1993)