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Texas A&M Football

Orange Bowl Overnight Sensation: Devon Achane, Running Back

January 4, 2021
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Each Monday during the 2020 Texas A&M football season, we identify a first or second-year Aggie player who delivered an exceptional performance and earned the distinction of being the week’s ‘Overnight Sensation.’ 


Tie game. Under four minutes to play. An Orange Bowl championship on the line.

First-and-10 at the Texas A&M 24-yard line. Head coach Jimbo Fisher called a counter to the left, and quarterback Kellen Mond handed the ball to speedster Devon Achane.

Tight end Jalen Wydermyer set the edge with a fantastic lead block, but Achane nearly lost his balance.

Fortunately, the freshman regained his footing at the 28. He shed a tackle at the 32 and then turned on the jets, burning down the Texas A&M sideline for a 76-yard touchdown to give the Aggies a 34-27 advantage with 3:44 remaining.

“When I broke the tackle and looked up, there wasn’t nobody there," Achane said. "I knew, ‘Yes, this is a touchdown. Ain’t nobody catching me.’”

Indeed, nobody stood a chance of catching him. When Achane crossed the goal line, he was 10 yards clear of the next closest Tar Heel or Aggie.

One electrifying run sparked the A&M defense as they responded with a crucial stop to preserve the lead and get the ball back.

A few plays later, Achane put the exclamation mark on Texas A&M's first Orange Bowl victory in school history with a 1-yard score, giving the Maroon & White a 14-point edge with 94 seconds left.

The Aggies had turned to Achane in the second half because sophomore Isaiah Spiller was hobbled with a foot injury. After not carrying the ball once in the first half, Achane finished the contest with 140 yards on 12 carries for two scores, including the game-winning touchdown and the insurance marker.

"We put him in, and man, he hit it really hard and really good two or three times," Fisher said. "We kept it going, and he did one heck of a job."

For his efforts, Achane was named the 2021 Orange Bowl's Most Outstanding Player.

"I'm thankful that I came in and could be a great asset to my team," Achane said. "Congratulate my O-line as well. They played their heart out all season, every game. They ain't called the Maroon Goons for nothing."

His track speed is obvious, but it's his physicality that Achane hopes onlookers notice as he continues to develop.

"I can run between the tackles. It's not just about being fast. You got to be physical at some point, and that's what I learned this year."
- Devon Achane

"I can run between the tackles," Achane said. "It's not just about being fast. You got to be physical at some point, and that's what I learned this year."

Between Achane, Spiller (A&M's every-down back who eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on Saturday night) and all-purpose X-factor Ainias Smith, the Aggie backfield will feature a three-headed monster in 2021.

Still, it was Achane's night in Miami and likely a sign of more to come from the Fort Bend Marshall product.

"You saw the explosion and all of the ability he has," Fisher said. "He's got a chance to be a very special player."

Achane's stats vs. North Carolina
Carries: 12
Rushing Yards: 140
Average: 11.7
Long: 76
Touchdowns: 2

Achane's 2020 stats
Carries: 43
Rushing Yards: 364
Average: 8.5
Long: 76
Touchdowns: 4

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Discussion from...

Orange Bowl Overnight Sensation: Devon Achane, Running Back

5,196 Views | 13 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
LatinAggie1997
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rodan85
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LatinAggie1997
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AG
I've watched this clip or a version of it at least 50 times. I love it. Kid has great balance amd is not easily taken down which surprises the defense.

I also love how he drops the ball at the back of emdzone and turns around calmly in a "whoa, did that just happen?" manner.


Edited to add:
It's great to see NC #0 see Axhane get loose and begin chase to quickly realize "nope".

He gets his balance and around the tacklers then at the 40 he begins his acceleration, at the 50 he is in his drive, and by the 40 he is at max speed and maintaining. Beautiful.
The Willow
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AG
Had me sold with his 3rdQ score against Arkansas. If you look at that run- a normal back gets maybe 8 yards- balance & speed on display. Gig em!
TAMU74
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AG
Great future in store for this young man if he can stay focused.
Congratulations on the MVP award.
Whaler
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AG
After his amazing performance, he still gave credit to others. He seems like a really good dude, in addition to being an excellent football player. I'm so happy he's on our team. Actually, I really like Spiller, Ainias too. We have a great group there. They're going to be hard to stop.
bkag9824
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AG
And 0 for NC could have stopped him had he continued pursuit to the ball until Achane was either down or out of bounds. But he instead pulled up right before Achane bust free.
ABATTBQ87
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AG
Achane reminds me of this legend:

JimAggie
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AG
I saw flashes of Achane's skill all season and am so glad he got the MVP for the Orange Bowl. WTG Devon!
BAS65
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AG
Look at the South Carolina Tape
war hymn aggie
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AG
Achane reminds me of former A&M RB Courtney Lewis.
Del Boy Trotter
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AG
Electric!
BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
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