Marcus Allen’s performance in Super Bowl XVIII was arguably the greatest ever by a Heisman Trophy winner in the NFL’s biggest game.
The 1981 Heisman winner out of USC rushed for a then-Super Bowl-record 191 yards and two touchdowns on just 20 carries as the Los Angeles Raiders routed the Washington Redskins, 38-9, on Jan. 23, 1984. His stellar production included perhaps the greatest run in Super Bowl history, a spectacular 74-yard reverse-the-field cutback touchdown through the heart of the Washington defense.
When the dust settled, Allen accomplished something no other player has done, before or since. He became the first player to win (1) a national championship in college (1978, as a freshman at USC), (2) a Heisman Trophy (as a 1981 senior), (3) a Super Bowl (as a member of the Raiders) and (4) a Super Bowl MVP (by virtue of his huge game against the Redskins). In 1985, Allen tacked an NFL MVP award on top of that unprecedented list of honors.
How big was Allen’s night? When President Ronald Reagan called the Raiders’ lockerrom after the game, he didn’t pass on the standard cookie-cutter congratulations.
“I have already got a call from Moscow,” quipped Reagan. “They think Marcus Allen is a new secret weapon and they insist that we dismantle it.”