Following the wins over Romania and Georgia - a game in which Murray excelled at tighthead prop in a vastly improved display by Scotland's pack - victory over Argentina at Wellington Regional Stadium on Sunday would maintain Scotland's record of reaching the quarter-finals at every World Cup.
Ford said: "That has to be the starting point - how we finished against Georgia.
"We were solid in the set-piece and aggressive in defence and going forward.
"We've got to keep that there or raise it against Argentina.
"They pose a lot of different questions, so we've got to make sure as a pack of forwards we front up and we're there on the day."
Newcastle Falcons prop Murray is unavailable due to religious reasons as the match falls on a Sunday, meaning Scotland will have to shuffle their pack once again.
Ford, who started the Georgia game following the withdrawal of Scott Lawson due to a calf injury, does not believe the change in personnel has too great an impact, with Geoff Cross likely to be called upon to start.
Ford added: "It doesn't affect us at all. We interchange quite often in training, on the scrum machine and live scrums.
"We just get used to playing with different people in different positions.
"It doesn't cause any massive upheaval at all."
Argentina and Scotland are familiar foes.
Scotland exited the 2007 World Cup after a quarter-final loss to Argentina, but have played the Pumas five times since.
Scotland have won three of those games - including the two most recent meetings with the Pumas, winning a two-Test series 2-0 in June 2010 - but the biggest margin between the sides was 12 points when Scotland won in Buenos Aires in June 2008.
Ford believes the familiarity of the opposition will enhance the need for dominance at the game's most crucial area - the breakdown.
He added: "It's not really about bringing anything new in now - we know how we want to play and it's been like that for a while.
"It's just about playing with a pace no other team can live with.
"It's about being even more accurate and sharper in what you do - making sure you're getting to the breakdowns first and securing quick ball."
Edinburgh hooker Ford is set to pack down opposite Mario Ledesma on Sunday.
The Clermont Auvergne forward is 38 years old and made his international debut in 1996, when Ford was 12. The Scotland hooker has the utmost respect for his opposite number.
Asked how Ledesma ranks compared to other hookers Ford has played against, the 27-year-old said: "He's right up there.
"To be a mainstay in the Argentina team for so long with such renowned forwards is amazing.
"He really is a class act and a tough opponent."
The Pumas have numerous players, in their pack in particular, in their mid to late 30s, but Ford does not believe that gives Scotland an advantage.
He added: "I'm sure they will be raring to go as much as we are.
"We've got to match that and make sure we're up for the challenge."
Ford is aware of the importance of the game, although should Scotland lose, a win on October 1 against England would likely also deliver a last-eight berth.
He added: "A World Cup game is pretty special, but this one is especially - it's definitely in the top 10 (of my career) I would say.
"We've had a long time to prepare for it - it's been a long turnaround from the Georgia game (on September 14) to this game - so we've had time to think about it and time to put in some good training.
"We are well aware of what to expect and what's coming our way on Sunday.
"It's a matter of going in with the right mindset. "I know we can do it. But it's not (going to be) an easy day."
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