September 30, 2009

Oglesby pleased with progression

MADISON, Wis. - During his weekly press conference Monday afternoon, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema mentioned how happy he was with sophomore right tackle Josh Oglesby's play during UW's 38-30 win over Michigan State.

"I kind of rode him all week that we needed him to be big in pass protection and doing certain things better," Bielema said. "And he really responded and probably played as good as he has all fall."

To this point, the UW offensive line has not given up a sack in three of its four games and only two on the season. Following Tuesday's practice, BadgerBlitz.com caught up with the improving Oglesby.

The following is a question and answer with the sophomore right tackle:

First of all, are you accustomed to this weather change just like that?

Oglesby: I love it.

Do you? It's nice and cool.

Oglesby: Oh yeah, big guys love when it gets cool.

Just talk about it, you played in it last year, what does this rivalry mean?

Oglesby: It's huge for the state and its huge for their state. It's a border battle and I believe it's the oldest rivalry in college football. We play for a great trophy and everyone gets jacked up to play in this game.

Do you think they're going to be a little more jacked up since they have their new stadium and first Big Ten game there against you guys?

Oglesby: You know, I think it's more the game itself. I think everyone comes to play in a rivalry game. You know, even dating back to high school, you come to play in rivalry games. Everyone's ability gets amped up that much more just because everyone wants to win it so bad.

You kind of mentioned the rivalry a little bit, but in particular, what does the axe mean? I mean, everybody wants to hold it after the win and you don't want to relinquish that. What does it mean to you? What does it represent?

Oglesby: It represents pride. Right now, it's in our house and we definitely don't want them coming over to our sidelines and taking the axe. When you can walk around with that axe on their home turf, it's basically stripping them of their pride and holding it up in the air.

Switching subjects here, but you guys have given up two sacks all year. How are you guys doing that, I guess? Is it surprising that you've only given up two?

Oglesby: It's not really surprising because we're a really talented offensive line and we have a great coach in coach Bob Bostad. It's all about preparation. I'm really not surprised because we have worked it so much and repped it so much. It's all about knowing and going. That's what we preach here. So, I think when you know your assignments, you have a better ability to attack the quarterback.

If I would have told you in fall camp that Travis Frederick was going to get hurt and you are going to have Peter Konz in there and you're going to have John Moffitt move over to guard, would you have believed me that…

Oglesby: Never would have believed it but that's our next man in rule. Like I said, it just speaks volumes of our offensive line that you can have guys shuffle around like that and still be productive players.

I know during his press conference yesterday, coach Bielema kind of praised coach Bostad on being able to push all you guys in there and make everything fit. Is that kind of what you've been seeing?

Oglesby: Oh yeah, like I said before coach Bostad is a great coach and he really knows the game and he definitely knows the position. It makes it easier for us when we have a coach who is confident and has his abilities as a coach. It makes us confident as players.

He's a pretty fiery coach too? He's an intense guy, isn't he?

Oglesby: Oh yeah, you have to be that way to play his position.

Just talk about you personally. Against Fresno State you had a little bit of trouble with Chris Carter. But it seems like you've been pretty good against Wofford and Michigan State. Are you pretty pleased with the way you've been playing?

Oglesby: Yeah, I've been pleased with the way I've been playing. I haven't really been a liability and I consider myself an asset so anytime you're an asset, it's always good.

Coach Bielema mentioned your name in particular during his press conference saying he was really impressed with the way you played against Michigan State. He said he tried to light a fire and say that you need to play big for that game last week. What did he say to you?

Oglesby: Just that there were good players out there for Michigan State and if you want to be a good player or a better player, you've have to go out and have success against those guys. I guess you can say it lit a fire under me to want to beat those guys and play better than those guys.

Do you think at times, and maybe this is a tough question, people maybe put too much pressure on you or expected too much from you considering your high school credentials?

Oglesby: You know, I don't think so. (It's) not really that they expect too much. If they see the ability and they want it to be shown, then they're not asking too much.

Do you think it's kind of molding together though? Do you feel like you're kind of playing…

Oglesby: Oh, I definitely feel like I'm playing better. As each game goes by, I gain more confidence and that's a really good thing for my game and for the team.

It's something that takes time though isn't it, to adjust from the high school to the college level. You're only in your sophomore year as far as eligibility.

Oglesby: It definitely takes time, especially when you come from being able to just maul everyone to having to use technique. Everyone is good here, so it really is a big adjustment.

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