2017 Uniformity – Sun Bowl: ASU Football is designated home team against NC State

Posted: Updated:

By Cole Streeper

The Sun Devils travel to El Paso to take on North Carolina State in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.

A Week in Review

The final game of the regular season had a familiar sight: A win in Sun Devil Stadium while Arizona State wore traditional colors. ASU annually wears their gold helmet/maroon jersey/gold pant combination with the standard sized pitchfork for their home opener, which is usually against an opponent that the Sun Devils should and do beat. The difference with this game is that they closed out the season against their archrival in this combination for the first time since the Pitchfork era began in 2011.

This was the fifth time this season that the Sun Devils wore this color combination and the third time that they have done so with the maroon pitchfork decals on the helmet. Those kinds of “uniform statistics” are not something we have seen since the Pitchfork era either, as with this new era and brand has been an identity of creativity and innovation that remained in the hands of the equipment staff until this year. It is no secret that boosters with thick wallets and the powers that be within Sun Devil Athletics pulled in the reins on the freedom that the equipment staff had this year, much of which has been seen in the Territorial Cup games of recent years. White-and-black combinations and gray and copper Desert Hammer combinations have taken the lead with nary a word from crowd…until the Sun Devils lost one of those games. With that came a mandate that ASU must wear its traditional maroon and gold colors in the rivalry game.

On the surface, while not ideal for uniform junkies like the readers and author of this column, it is reasonable. The Devils will open with traditional colors at home, and end with them in the Territorial Cup game whether at home or on the road. In execution, though, this went awry. It was only in Weeks 10 and 12 that Arizona State wore anything outside of traditional home, away, or color-theme uniform combinations. The classic combination looked great as the Sun Devils reclaimed the Territorial Cup, but the lack of creative freedom afforded to the best equipment staff in the country brings forth a grade that has a touch of a cumulative effect from the mundane season that was.

Gold/Maroon/Gold Uniform: C+

The Week to Come

Uniform

With the regular season in the rear window, the Sun Devils look ahead to a Sun Bowl matchup against the Wolfpack of North Carolina State on Friday, Dec. 29. ASU is the designated home team and will actually get to see a clean home uniform combination that does in fact have a touch of creativity to it as the Sun Devils will be wearing a white helmet/maroon jersey/white pant combination in the bowl game.

The maroon jersey features “Arizona State” in gold Sun Devil Bold font across the chest. The nameplate on the back of the jersey also utilizes the gold Sun Devil Bold font. On the front of the jersey near the left shoulder is a gold Adidas logo, near the right shoulder is a maroon and gold Pac-12 shield, and at the base of the collar is the black PT*42 shield in honor of ASU Football legend, Pat Tillman. A Sun Bowl patch will be featured on the left shoulder of each uniform as well. The gold player numbers are outlined in black on both the front and back of the jersey and the white pants have a prominent black pitchfork with gold trim on the left thigh.

Helmet

The white helmet will feature an oversized white pitchfork with maroon trim on one side of the helmet and white player number decals outlined in maroon on the opposite side. It will also feature a white 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 the small Sunburst logo decal which honors the late, legendary ASU Football coach, Frank Kush. 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

The Sun Devils will be wearing their white based cleats for the Sun Bowl. The white, low top Adi-Zeros will be worn by the lighter, speed position players like wide receivers and the defensive secondary. They feature a metallic gold plating on the sole of the cleat and maroon accents. The Adidas Freak mid-tops will be worn by heavy, speed players like linebackers and tight ends. They too have metallic gold plating on the sole, but also boast gold accented toes and maroon accents. 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. The Freak high tops also have a gold accent that begins at the toe, but continues and is the dominant color of the sole. There is a small metallic gold plate accent on the bottom of the shoe as well. Just as with the other two shoe styles, the Freak high tops have maroon accents.

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

One can hope that along with the regular season, hopefully this restriction of creativity now behind us. It is nice to see a variation of sorts as we enter the final game of the 2017 year. This base combination has actually been utilized once before in a home game against Oregon State in 2011, the first year of the Pitchfork Era. The major difference in that uniform that year to the combination we will see against North Carolina State is in the helmet. Against Oregon State in 2011, the helmet had maroon standard sized pitchforks and a maroon facemask. As seen earlier in this article, the helmet for the upcoming game has the large pitchfork and a white facemask.

The maroon jersey anchors the white top and bottom, bringing everything together as a nice, tidy package. When the helmet and pants in this combination are partnered with the white away jersey for the Whiteout game, as clean as it may look, leaves a lot to be desired in terms of color. With the home jersey sandwiched between the two white elements, it gives the traditional home colors a modern spin. Very, very clean. This will be a great look as the Sun Devils return to El Paso for Todd Graham’s final game as head coach of Arizona State.

Fantasy Combo of the Week

I thank you all for your Fantasy Combo submissions this year! It has been a pleasure to see the creativity that you all have and it gave me the inspiration to do the submission for the final Fantasy Combo of the 2017 season. My fantasy combo is a black helmet/black jersey/maroon pant combo. The black helmet has standard sized black pitchforks with gold trim. The helmet also has a gold PT*42 bumper and a black facemask. The black jersey features gold Sun Devils text across the chest and gold trim on the sleeves. It also has gold numbers outlined with maroon. The maroon pants have a black pitchfork with gold trim on the left thigh. Both the arm and leg bands are black and the gloves are a black base with maroon accents. The cleats are maroon with gold accents and the socks are black as well.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved