Coming off the bench the senior defensive end chipped in with three solo tackles and three assists in Auburn's 24-20 SEC victory over Mississippi State. In games one and two he had to watch from the sideline while he continued to rehab his knee injury.
"I was just trying to be a leader vocally," he said of his time prior to being cleared to play. "I can never get down about something I can't control.
"I worked very hard in the training room," Ford pointed out. "I definitely have to give a lot of props to our training staff, our doctors. They definitely got me back right and got me back early."
Ford was happy to be back in uniform.
Ford earned praise in the spring from new defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, who called the senior by far the team's best pass rusher. The preseason second team All-SEC pick said he hopes to take his performance to a higher level when the Tigers play at sixth-ranked LSU on Saturday night in Baton Rouge.
"I was very rusty," Ford said of his 2013 debut. "I missed a tackle for a touchdown, but I started to really get a feel toward the end of the game. I was definitely able to make a few plays."
After allowing the Bulldogs to score on the opening drive of the third quarter to take a 20-14 lead, the Auburn defense did not allow any more points.
Asked what the defense did to make that happen, the fifth-year senior said, "It was all about execution and doing your assignment. If you are where you are supposed to be they have nowhere to go."
Auburn heads to Baton Rouge with a 3-0 record and the Tigers are 1-0 in the SEC after rallying to defeat Mississippi State. "It was a true team win," Ford said. "We had a great stop by the defense and then the offense came up with an amazing drive."
This week's game will kick off at 6:45 p.m. CDT from Tiger Stadium where 3-0 and sixth-ranked LSU awaits for what will be the first SEC game for the Bayou Bengals, who defeated TCU 37-27, UAB 56-17 and Kent State 45-13.