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ASU Best Teams: No. 1 1996-97 Football vs. No. 9 1973-74 Football

Two of the best on the gridiron

Photos by Mike Powell/Getty Images and Sun Devils Athletics

We continue our best teams from ASU ever this summer with our next matchup. No. 3 1986-87 Football vs. No. 6 1972 Baseball in our last matchup. Now it’s No. 1 1996-97 vs. No. 9 1973-74 Football.

Here’s the current bracket:

No. 1 1996-97 Football

Record: 11-1, PAC-10 Champions Finished 4th in AP Poll

Head coach: Bruce Synder

Notable players: Jake Plummer, Pat Tillman, Keith Poole

The rundown: The season that brought a lot of joy till the end. The Sun Devils behind Jake Plummer, who finished third in the Heisman voting, rolled through the regular season 11-0. With the flashiest win of the season during Week 3 with a 19-0 victory over at the time first-ranked Nebraska. Besides the season opener against Washington and a trip to UCLA, every ASU win was decided by two possessions. As the No. 2 in the country ASU faced Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, the Sun Devils were in position to secure a possible national championship with No. 1 Florida State falling to No. 3 Florida, but a Buckeye touchdown with 20 seconds left sent ASU to its lone defeat of the season.

No. 9 1973-74 Football

Record: 11-1, WAC co-champion and Fiesta Bowl Champion

Head coach: Frank Kush (16th year)

Notable players: Woody Green, Danny White (C), Morris Owens, Bob Breunig (C)

The rundown: Not often does a college football team have two rushers attain over 1,000 rushing yards. With Woody Green and Benny Malone rotating seamlessly, Danny White under center and Morris Owens (over 1,000 reviving yards) our wide—this was as dangerous of an ASU offense as ever. An 11-1 season, highlighted by a 55-19 throttling victory in the Territorial Cup, ASU ended the season ranked #9 in the AP poll. Their season ended with a 28-7 win over Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium. The Devils outscored their opponents by a combined 519 to 171.

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