Penn State Held Syracuse to Negative 47 Yards of Offense

Published on August 18th, 2023 3:24 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Rembarkable college football records.  Two unbreakable ones took place in the same game in 1947. October 18th, 1947.

The offensive performance of all time in college football, the best defensive performance of all time in college football or a bit of both?

On that day, the 2-2 Syracuse Orange played 4-0 Penn State, who were the #9 ranked team in the nation.

Penn State had a very good defense that year - in fact, it would help propel them to an eventual record of 9-0-1, which earned them the distinction of being the #4 team in the nation.

On October 18th, 1947, Syracuse got a taste of just how good the Penn State defense was, especially on the ground.


Syracuse did alright through the air on October 18th - they managed 60 passing yards, which was a decent total in the 1940s, as nobody really threw the football.

Syracuse's rushing attack, however, was pathetic.

Syracuse would rush for NEGATIVE 107 yards that day, bringing their total offense numbers to NEGATIVE 47 yards.

Syracuse's offensive line was terrible, and Penn State was meeting the rusher in the backfield almost every time.

This resulted in a number of big rushing losses for Syracuse, as they just couldn't get any time for their backs.


Unsurprisingly, Penn State would win that game.

It also shouldn't surprise you to hear that Syracuse was shut out that day, 40-0.


Syracuse's -47 net offensive yards and Penn State's -47 offensive yards allowed are two records that will probably never be broken in college football.

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