CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Marvin Burdette has tackled every bit of adversity thrown his way, including his team's 31 losses in 45 games over four years.
Burdette has also tackled every ball carrier who comes his way, it seems - and tracked down many ball carriers who were going in other directions.
The 5-foot-11, 230-pound linebacker from Batesville, Miss., has overcome a change in the head coach, two changes of defensive coordinators and back pain, not to mention the pain of his Alabama-Birmingham team losing way too much for his liking.
Despite his team's 2-7 record, he is having a big senior season, which he will continue Saturday against Marshall at Legion Field. Kickoff time is 4:30 p.m. EST, with the game airing on WVAH, channel 11 in Charleston-Huntington.
Burdette is second in the nation with 12.78 tackles per game, trailing only Toledo's Dan Moll. His 7.11 solo tackles lead the FBS. But that's not the most startling stat.
Consider this - Burdette's 115 total tackles is more than double the nearest teammate, and his nine tackles for loss lead the team by far. He also is tied for the lead on a sack-deprived defense, with two.
With nine tackles on Saturday, he will become UAB's all-time leader. He has 364, only behind the 372 of Zac Woodfin (2001-04). Marshall players and coaches have respectfully singled out Burdette this week, point to his simple ability to get outside quickly from his spot in the middle and tackle surely.
Burdette played in 2009 as a true freshman, even starting two games. He had a big year in 2010, ranking fifth in Conference USA with 114 tackles and earning honorable mention All-C-USA honors.
A back injury hampered his junior year, as well as a lack of offseason conditioning. Sidelined the previous summer, he put on unwanted weight and his productivity dropped a tick.
Changes in coaches haven't made things easier. In that 2011 season, coach Neil Callaway brought in former Memphis head coach Tommy West as defensive coordinator.