Uniformity – Week 3: ASU bringing the color to Lubbock

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By Cole Streeper

The Sun Devils’ first road test takes them to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech.

A Week in Review

A moving tribute to Frank Kush, the recently passed, legendary coach and builder of the Arizona State football program, defined the uniform last Saturday for the Sun Devils. The maroon jersey and gold pants were exactly the same as that which they wore in their Week 1 opener against New Mexico State. Even the gold helmet shells were the same. The difference this week came in the form of helmet decals.

On the gold helmets were maroon Sunbursts that were worn by ASU from 1976-1979, immediately preceding the age of Sparky who made his debut on helmets in 1980. These decals, utilized during Kush’s tenure, honored him and his life as the longest tenured and winningest coach in Arizona State Football history. Not only was it a sweet tribute, but it was also a very stylish one. The maroon center stripe always completes the gold ASU helmet, and the player numbers on the back of the helmet really gave the retro feel from the helmets of that era. However, the Sunbursts stole the show as it was prominently featured on either side of the helmet. Hats off to Jerry Neilly and his outstanding equipment staff for pulling off an incredible look honoring a great coach.

Frank Kush Gold Helmet with Sunburst/Maroon Jersey/Gold Pants Grade: A+

The Week to Come

Uniform

Every year since the rebranding to the Pitchfork in 2011, ASU has had a both a Blackout and Maroon Monsoon game. During the 2015 season, ASU added a home Whiteout to the home slate. I was critical of the move as, more than anything, the thought of another team wearing their home colors on the Sun Devil home turf was an unsavory one. Now, two years later, the Sun Devils will be the team wearing their home colors to their hosts’ home turf as they will wear the classic maroon and gold home combo against Texas Tech in Lubbock this weekend.

This marks the third consecutive week that the Sun Devils will be wearing the same base elements for their uniforms in wearing a gold helmet/maroon jersey/gold pant combination. The maroon jersey features “Arizona State” in Sun Devil Bold text across the chest as well as for the nameplate on the back of the jersey, as well as gold trim on the sleeves. The gold player numbers are outlined in black on both the front and back of the jersey. The gold pants have a prominent maroon pitchfork with black trim on the left thigh.

Helmet

The matte gold helmet will feature a standard sized maroon pitchfork with gold trim as the gold helmet shell remains as the only one in the ASU helmet selection to not have a large pitchfork decal used on it. It will also feature a maroon facemask as well as a 3D bumper on the front of the helmet that reads PT*42 in honor of the legendary Sun Devil, Pat Tillman.

The back of the helmet will feature a maroon Pac-12 shield, as well as a maroon outline of the state of Arizona with a small maroon pitchfork over Tempe. Also featured on the back of the helmet is a small Sunburst logo which be on the back of ASU helmets all season long. On the decal above the Sunburst is text that reads “Frank Kush” which is completed with the phrase “Builder of Champions” underneath the Sunburst.

Cleats

White cleats accented with maroon and gold will be worn this week. The white, low top Adi-Zeros will be worn by the lighter, speed position players like wide receivers and the defensive secondary. The Adidas Freak mid-tops will be worn by heavy, speed players like linebackers and tight ends. Finally, the Adidas Freak high tops will be worn by linemen on both sides of the ball, as they provide a great deal of support for the pressure and torque that the larger players put on their ankles and feet.

Gloves

The Sun Devils will wear white gloves, and as with the cleats, there are different gloves for different positions. In both pictures, the gloves on the bottom are Adi-Zeros and they feature a white pitchfork with maroon trim which can be seen when the two palms are placed together. The gloves on the top left are Adidas Freaks, worn by larger skill position players such as linebackers and tight ends. The gloves on the top right are Adidas Freak-Max, which boast extra padding on the heel of the palm for all of the contact that linemen endure throughout the course of a game.

Reaction

After conducting some research on the matter, I can’t completely confirm that this is the first time that Arizona State has ever worn home colors for a true road game; however I could not find anything to prove that it is not. The Sun Devils likely would have worn home colors on the road in 2005 when they were set to visit LSU in Baton Rouge because LSU often wears white jerseys at home. Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina infamously hit Louisiana, forcing the game to be moved to Tempe.

It’s cool that the Sun Devils get to run out of the visitor tunnel in their home colors. It’s not as cool that after many seasons of innovative looks and variety, the Sun Devils are being relegated to the same base uniform combination for a third week in a row (save for the decal differences). Maroon and gold is beautiful, don’t get me wrong, and there was a time in the earlier part of the Pitchfork era that you would have heard me lauding this kind of consistency, but the uniform innovation has put Arizona State in national media conversation and has been a selling point for recruits.

There was obviously going to be some pulling back on the reins this season, but it seemed that there could have been some more room for variety, even within the structure of maroon and gold. Creativity with the different helmets and uniform combinations in the Arizona State uniform arsenal still seemed well within the realm of possibility, but that has not shown to be so through the first three weeks of the season. Certainly there will still be a Maroon Monsoon and Blackout this season, but this week’s uniform, while as sharp and as ASU as ever, leaves uniform aficionados wanting more.

Fantasy Combo of the Week

This week’s Fantasy Combo comes to us from Russell Katarski, who you can follow on Twitter and @DiehardDevil42. It is an alternate style jersey featuring a white helmet, black jersey, and black pants. The white helmet has a large copper pitchfork with black trim on one side, and copper player number decals on the other. The black jersey has copper numbers outlined in black with black Arizona State script across the chest outlined in copper. The shoulder trim on the jerseys is copper, and the gloves are white base with copper accents, as are the shoes. The black pants have a copper pitchfork with black trim to finish out the combo. Thank you for submitting this great and creative uniform combo, Russell!

If you would like to submit a Fantasy Combo of the week to me, please visit thedevilswear.com and take a screen cap or save the link to your final product and send them to me by tweeting me at @ASU_Uniformity or @sundevilcole7.

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