The Arizona State University Alumni Association and the Sun Devil Club will celebrate the silver anniversary of the 1996–97 Sun Devil football Pac-10 champions at the Legends Luncheon on Oct. 29.
This historic team led ASU football to its fourth undefeated regular season. Key players, including Jake “The Snake” Plummer, Derrick Rodgers, Pat Tillman, Juan Roque and Keith Poole, led the team to an 11-0 regular season and a trip to the Rose Bowl.
“We are excited to bring the 1996–97 Sun Devil football team together for this year’s Legends Luncheon,” said Alissa Serignese, vice president of the ASU Alumni Association. “This is a team full of talented players who made history at ASU, and we look forward to honoring these legends during homecoming.”
During this iconic season on Sept. 21, 1996, fans were electrified as the Sun Devils dominated the No. 1-ranked and two-time defending national champions Nebraska Cornhuskers with a 19-0 shutout. This ended the University of Nebraska’s 26-game winning streak and was the first time since 1977 that the No. 1 team was shut out.
ASU fans rushed the field after one of the greatest collegiate football upsets and successfully dismantled the goal post. After carrying it off the newly minted Frank Kush Field at Sun Devil Stadium, rumors surfaced that fans threw parts of it over the Mill Avenue Bridge celebrating one of the most storied victories on record. The team posted incredible comeback wins over UCLA and USC, and also won in Tucson 56-14 to close the regular season.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Alumni Association and celebrate one of the greatest teams in our athletic department history,” said Ray Anderson, vice president of university athletics. “Their play on the field and their connection to the Sun Devil community remains special now. We look forward to having their presence here for a fantastic weekend.”
The Legends Luncheon is an annual event that takes place the Friday of ASU’s Homecoming weekend. Each year, the ASU Alumni Association in partnership with Sun Devil Club and Sun Devil Athletics honors the best of ASU’s former student-athletes, coaches and teams for their athletic achievements. Tickets to the luncheon are $70, and tables seating 10 can be purchased for $700. For more information on the Legends Luncheon, visit alumni.asu.edu/events/legends-luncheon.
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