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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: New backfield

   September 14, 1969 -- The Buffalo Bills had a lot of work to do in 1969. After all, they were coming off a 1-12-1 season that was in the worst in the National Football League in 1968.

   They hoped their new pair of running backs would help turn things around.

   The new combination certainly had the credentials. O.J. Simpson was one of the greatest running backs in the history of college football. He won the Heisman Trophy while at Southern California in 1968, and probably should have won that same award as a junior in 1967.

   While Simpson went first overall, Buffalo took Bill Enyart in the second round of the '69 draft. Enyart was 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, and had the nickname of "Earthquake.‘ The idea was that Simpson and Enyart would play the roles of lightning and thunder, respectively.

   Both players made their NFL debuts on this day. Enyart had the first touchdown of the duo. He caught a 5-yard pass from Jack Kemp in the third quarter of the game with the Jets, which was played before a record crowd of 46,165 at War Memorial Stadium.

   Simpson finished his first game with 35 yards on 10 carries, while Enyart ran for 18 yards on nine carries. The Bills lost that game to the defending Super Bowl champions, 33-19, even though Joe Namath was only 7 of 19 for 157 yards and three interceptions.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.