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Auburn's Dee Ford on Senior Bowl: 'I made a little money'

MOBILE, Ala. -- For Dee Ford, being the buzz of the week in practice just wasn't enough for his Reese's Senior Bowl performance.

The Auburn defensive end dominated when the game-day cameras turned on, as well.

Ford recorded two sacks and a pass deflection, all in the first half, and consistently put pressure on North squad quarterbacks to lead a 20-10 South win at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Then he delivered the quote of the night.

"I made a little money," he said.

Indeed.

Ford said the North offense began chip blocking him with an extra pass protector in the second half to slow him down, and North squad coach Mike Smith later said that was by design.

"We had a hard time blocking him in the first half," Smith said. "He's an outstanding edge rusher and was very disruptive in the first half, so we definitely had to make some adjustments."

Ford played some in the second half but gave way to more snaps for backups, primarily FSU linebacker Christian Jones, who got to put his hand on the ground for some edge rushing as well. But Ford was far from the only South defensive lineman to make a difference in the outcome.

Princeton defensive tackle Caraun Reid recorded two sacks himself. Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton beat North guard Michael Schofield on a tackle for loss, and BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy had a sack as well. North offensive tackles Seantrel Henderson and Jack Mewhort had their troubles in pass protection. "Poor" would be a charitable description of Henderson's play. He allowed not only most of Ford's pressure but gave up Van Noy's sack as well, and some pressure from Arkansas defensive end Chris Smith.

"I was able to apply some pressure early in the game, and it got me some (more) attention, and it freed some things up for some other guys," Ford said. "That's just a product of our practice. We've been doing this all week."

Ford stopped short of saying the South offensive line he practiced against all week was superior to the North's line in the game.

"I wouldn't say that," he said. "Everyone is good here. Everyone is good, it's just about who is going to work, and who is going to be fundamentally sound, and I think we had the upper hand on that."

The North had just one first down, by penalty, in the first quarter, and only four first downs and 79 yards of offense by halftime. Wisconsin's James White (11 for 62) was able to move the North more effectively in the second half, but not enough to overcome an early 13-0 deficit.

The South offense did its part on the strength of first-half touchdown passes by Fresno State's Derek Carr to tight end Crockett Gilmore, and by David Fales to Alabama receiver Kevin Norwood.

Carr finished 7 of 12 for 45 yards; Fales finished 6 of 7 for 104.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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