Auburn, Ala.--Senior defensive back Johnathan "Rudy" Ford keeps moving up the career tackle charts in Auburn football history, but said he is more concerned in improving each week. He said that improvement personally for his Tigers was apparent in AU’s 51-14 rout of visiting Arkansas State after a disappointing performance in an opening setback to Clemson.
Ford did his part on defense against the Red Wolves with 10 tackles--five solo and five assists. It was the ninth time that he has recorded 10 tackles in a game and the 10th time he has been Auburn’s leading tackler.
He now has 232 tackles in his career to pass linebacker Karlos Dansby (2001-03) and Travis Williams (2001-05), the current coach of the linebackers for the Tigers, for ninth in Auburn history. Next on the list is another linebacker, Josh Bynes, who had 240 career tackles from 2007-10.
“I felt we had a lot to prove this week,”? the senior said. “We needed to go out and give a great effort because there was no reason we couldn’t play better than we did last week. We need to keep getting better each week.”
Ford was excited to see the offense rebound from a woeful outing in the loss to Clemson and finish game two with 706 total yards. “It was a great job by the offense,”?he said. “It was great to see them move the ball up and down the field. It was an outstanding game all the way around.”
As for the personal records, Ford has his focus on something else. “I don’t think about where I am in tackles in my career. I just want to improve every game. If I do that the records will take care of themselves and I can think about them when my career is finished at Auburn.”
In other news and notes:
*Sophomore QB Sean White finished 17-of-23 for 244 yards and three touchdowns passing and he rushed for a career-high 60 yards (previous high: 29 vs. Mississippi State, 2015). With 306 yards of total offense, it’s the most by an Auburn player since Nick Marshall gained 505 vs. Alabama in 2014.
*Freshman running back Malik Miller had his first AU career carry in the third quarter. Freshman running back Kameron Martin had his first career reception and his first career rush vs. the Red Wolves.
*Ten 10 different Auburn receivers caught passes in the game. The last time that happened in was in 2013 vs. Florida Atlantic.
*Sophomore defensive tackle Andrew Williams had the second sack of his career and Auburn’s first of the season.
* Freshman defensive end Marlon Davidson had his first career sack late in the second quarter.
*Captains for Auburn were Carl Lawson, Montravius Adams, Marcus Davis and Alex Kozan. Auburn won the toss and deferred until the second half.
*The Tigers now lead the series with series with Arkansas State 4-0 after Saturday’s victory. One of those wins--38-9 in 2013--came under Gus Malzahn, who was the Red Wolves’ head coach in 2012.
*Malzahn joins other Auburn coaches who have gone against teams they formerly served as head coaches. Tommy Tuberville was 7-3 versus Ole Miss, Terry Bowden was 1-0 against Samford, Pat Dye 2-0 versus East Carolina, Jack Meagher 0-2 against Rice and Mike Harvey 1-0 against Alabama.
*Auburn holds a 24-0 all-time mark against current members of the Sun Belt Conference. The Tigers are 1-0 against Appalachian State, 4-0 against Arkansas State, 1-0 against Georgia Southern, 2-0 against Idaho, 4-0 against Louisiana-LaFayette, 9-0 against ULM and 3-0 against New Mexico State.