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Texas A&M Football

More touches for Devon Achane a smart 'Money Play' for Aggies

August 23, 2021
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‘Money Plays’ are defined at Texas A&M as those which result in a touchdown or first down.

With that in mind, the Aggies must invest more heavily in sophomore running back Devon Achane this football season.

Getting the ball in his hands has proven to be a dash for the cash. No. 6 isn’t just his jersey number. It’s aTm’s PIN.

Last season, Achane had 48 touches via runs and receptions. Twenty times they resulted in ‘Money Plays.’ That’s a 41.6 percent success rate — 15 first downs, five touchdowns.  You don’t need Don Adam to tell you that’s a helluva return on investment.

Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports
Devon Achane was named Orange Bowl MVP after running for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries vs. North Carolina.

Skeptics, of course, might dismiss that success rate as a result of a small sample size. A bunch of baseball players hit .400 in April, but their averages plummet as at-bats increase.

That’s the same for running backs.

Frequent First-and-10s or third-and-longs aren’t conducive to cashing in ‘Money Plays.’

The more Achane touches the football, the more his success rate will drop.

Except …  Achane (the Money Train) accumulated ten of his Money Plays on first-and-10. That includes a 76-yard touchdown run against North Carolina, a 30-yard touchdown run against Arkansas and a 52-yard touchdown reception against South Carolina.

Further, he seems to get better as the game goes on.

His last four touches against North Carolina resulted in the 76-yard touchdown, an 11-yard run for a first down, a 23-yard run for a first down and a 1-yard touchdown.

Hell, on one of the plays in which Achane did not convert a first down, he caught a 15-yard pass on second-and-20.

Coach Jimbo Fisher knew Achane was special when recruiting him out of Fort Bend Marshall High School. But even Fisher was surprised at how special Achane is.

“He was so natural and smooth that he made it look easy. You didn’t realize how fast he was,” Fisher said. “The other thing was the toughness part. He would block you. He would hit you. He would break tackles. He made you miss so easily. There was a smoothness to him, and then he had great ball skills.

“To be honest, as good as I thought he was, he was better in person. He’s got a chance to be a really good football player.”

He already is.

“To be honest, as good as I thought [Achane] was, he was better in person. He’s got a chance to be a really good football player.”
- A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher

Achane could be an All-Southeastern Conference running back if A&M didn’t already have one.

Isaiah Spiller rushed for 1,036 yards in nine games last season. He also has a knack for producing ‘Money Plays.’

Spiller averaged a first down or touchdown on 33 percent of his 208 touches. That includes a  pivotal 19-yard touchdown run in which he trucked Florida linebacker Ventrell Miller.

That could create a problem for Fisher in keeping both players content.

More likely, though, it will create problems for defensive coordinators. They will have to adjust schemes for if Spiller is on the field or if Achane is on the field, or if they’re on the field at the same time.

“We both will be the backfield a lot together this season,” Achane said. “We both want the ball, but we both just want to play our part and do what’s best for the team. If he’s running, I’ll be blocking. If I’m running, he’ll be blocking. Or we’ll both be blocking. We just want to do what is best for the team.”

Making ‘Money Plays’ is always best for the team. The Aggies can expect Achane and Spiller to make a bunch of them.

Achane, a world-class sprinter, figures to make many more than he did a year ago. He has become like a power hitter in baseball that’s expected to blast a home run every time at-bat. If he doesn’t, it’s almost a disappointment.

“All our running backs are trying to score as soon as we get the ball,” Achane said. “I wouldn’t say everything is a home run. You can just take what they give you, and the big plays will come.”

You can put money on it.

Discussion from...

More touches for Devon Achane a smart 'Money Play' for Aggies

7,764 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by AgOutsideAustin
texag86
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war hymn aggie
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AG
Yep....there's a reason why he wears the number "6".

He has the ability to find the end zone on any play that he touches the football.
AgOutsideAustin
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AG
He's the perfect fourth quarter running back. By then the defense is getting tired and all he needs is small crease or the defender to take a half step wrong and he gone.
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