No. 31 Marv Allen – Linebacker – 1978, 1981-1984
Marv Allen had a hybrid style of Sione Takitaki and Kyle Van Noy. He was similar to Takitaki in the sense that he would get quite a few tackles in every game and like Van Noy in that he showed up in the biggest moments.
Although Allen was on a star filled defense for most of his playing career, he was the leader in tackles in 1984, however again it was filled with talent all over with other players like Shawn Knight, Kyle Morrell and Kurt Gouveia.
While it was the offense that gets all the credit, it was the defense that helped the Cougars win AT LEAST six games that the Cougars either didn’t score a lot of points or it was a one possession game.
When you lead the the National Championship team in tackles during the senior season that is quite the impact. Allen was a team leader and he worked his way to get to the point where he ended up in his career. The only thing that hurts him a bit is that the defense was already so good that without him they may not have been impacted as bad, which is a good problem to have.
Allen played significantly for three seasons which is decent and recorded 100+ tackles in each of those seasons. He consistently got better across the board finishing for his career with 354 tackles, four sacks, seven tackles for loss, 19 QB hurries, two forced fumbles and six interceptions including a pick six. The best season as mentioned before happened in 1984 when he had career highs with 134 tackles, four interceptions, seven pass breakups and a forced fumble.
Memorable Moments A
Being a significant contributor on a National Championship team is memorable in itself. What many people forget though is the moment that defines Allen as a hero for the Cougars. After a limping Robbie Bosco found Kelly Smith for the game winning touchdown it was Allen who sealed the game with an interception around midfield.
Marv Allen had plenty of other big moments for the Cougars including a nine tackle game against the Utes, 16 tackles in the crucial 1984 Hawaii game, two interceptions against Tulsa and 11 tackles in the Pitt game. As mentioned above, he showed up in the biggest moments and made his impact count when needed most.