CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — University of Tennessee at Chattanooga running back Ailym Ford — last season’s Morning News Football Player of the Year at West Florence — is the STATS FCS National Freshman of the Week. Three previous times this season, Ford was among the honorable mentions for the weekly honor, but he claimed the top spot with a massive night in conference play. It also means he’s been a contender for the award in four of the eight weeks it’s been given.
Ford led the Mocs to a 16-13 Southern Conference win over East Tennessee State on Thursday. He posted 200 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries in the victory. He had back-to-back rushes of 23 and 11 yards in the game-winning drive for the Mocs.
“Aliym is an outstanding young man and is definitely deserving of this honor,” stated UTC coach Rusty Wright. “He had a great game against ETSU, and we are looking forward to many more in his future.”
Ford became just the second Moc in school history to carry the ball 30-plus times in three straight games. Tyrone Coleman also did it three games in a row in 1998. He also fell just shy of James Roberts’ freshman mark of 202 yards in a 24-23 loss at ETSU on Oct. 14, 1989. It was just the 13th 200-yard game in school history.
Ford leads all FCS freshmen with 757 rushing yards and is tied for fourth among rookies with seven touchdowns. His seven rushing TDs tie the UTC freshman record, set by James Roberts (1989) and Jacob Huesman (2012).
With just seven games under his belt, Ford already has the most rushing yards by a Moc since Derrick Crane ran for 1,083 in 2016. Ford has posted 100-yard rushing games in each of his last three outings and four overall this season.