Auburn football: Dee Ford terrorizes Georgia offensive line, Aaron Murray in Tigers' 43-38 victory

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 16, 2013 

Dee Ford sacks quarterback in first quarter Georgia vs Auburn on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013 in Auburn, Ala. Lauren Barnard

TODD J. VAN EMST — Todd J. Van Emst

AUBURN, Ala.Dee Ford couldn't be blocked.

No matter who was in front of Auburn's senior defensive end Saturday, he blew past them. Ford only sacked Georgia's Aaron Murray one time. But Ford was also credited with six quarterback hurries and made countless other disruptive plays in the Bulldogs' backfield that didn't appear in the stat sheet.

Multiple times during Saturday's game, Murray was seen having words with Ford. When asked about those encounters, the defender played coy.

"It's a competitive nature we have," Ford said. "Any time you get a chance to pop (someone), you better say something. But I don't think I really said nothing to him. I don't think (about talking) when I'm on the field."

Regardless of how much Ford talked — or didn't talk, depending on one's interpretation of his previous quote — Gus Malzahn felt it would be unfair to focus on that. Instead, Auburn's head coach felt Ford's play spoke for itself.

"Dee Ford is an impact player," Malzahn said. "He's one of the best pass-rushers in our league and a veteran guy."

Not that the Bulldogs needed to be told of Ford's talent. They were having enough problems simply keeping him out of their backfield. It got bad enough that starting right tackle John Theus was removed in favor of backup Kolton Houston. The pair continued to rotate throughout the game, though neither had much success in their one-on-one matchups with Ford.

It's possible that the senior saved his best for last — literally.

On the game's final play, he pressured Murray into an errant pass as time expired, sealing the Tigers' 43-38 victory.

Though Georgia centered so much of its offensive game plan around containing him, Ford shrugged it off.

After all, he pointed out, he wasn't the only defensive lineman who made plays in Saturday's win.

"Craig (Sanders) was in there, L.O. (LaDarius Owens) was in," he said. "I don't think they can block any of us, honestly. We were just able to come up big, which was great."

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