The longest streak of consecutive games with a sack in the Southeastern Conference this season, five, belongs to Auburn pass rusher Dee Ford. And the senior will look to take the still-active streak to six games Saturday against one of the top offensive tackle tandems in college football, Volunteers Antonio "Tiny" Richardson and Ja'Wuan James.
It has been something of a remarkable turnaround for Ford, who missed the first two games of Auburn's season while recovering from a knee injury. He came off the bench in his season debut against Mississippi State, and made his first start of the year against LSU without a sack. Since then, however, he's recorded at least one sack in five conseutive games against Ole Miss, Western Carolina, Texas A&M, Florida Atlantic and Arkansas.
"He's usually got a high motor," defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said last week, according to al.com. "He's playing with a lot of intensity."
The highlight of the season for Ford came in Auburn's upset win over the Aggies, when he dropped Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel for sacks twice in a three-play sequence on a would-be game-winning drive for Texas A&M. Ford also had a pair of sacks against the Rebels, giving him seven on the season, which ranks tied for second in the Southeastern Conference.
Johnson, however, said Ford is doing more than just harassing quarterbacks.
"He's made some flashy plays for us, but in addition to that, he's right where he's supposed to be," Johnson added. "He's made some of those plays that you're supposed to make that some guys don't make."
Ford (6-foot-2, 240 pounds) is undersized to play defensive end in the NFL, but he could project as an outside linebacker.