When you read the paper every day, or turn on the radio, you are always hearing the names Josh Fields, Tatum Bell and Rashaun Woods, yet the offensive line is key to their success. What is your mentality and the mentality of the offensive line in this dynamic offense? You get your name said by those guys that make the big plays...Tatum, and Josh, Rashaun...when we do a good job. You know, Josh isn't thanking us when he is laying on his backside all the time, but, when they get the job done, and they do quite frequently, they always give us our credit, so we enjoy that. Other than that, we view it as a "get it done" job. We like to go out and play and have a good time, so we kind of know our place.
Following the SMU game, Rashaun heaped praise on the offensive line. How that that praise make the linemen feel? It's nice to be a part of something like that, to be able to say, "Yeah, I was in that game when Rashaun scored the seven touchdowns." It's nice to get that kind of praise, and it is nice to know that he doesn't forget the people that helped him out along the way.
At the beginning of last season, the offensive line was labeled as a question mark, yet ended up being one of the best units on the team. How did this process occur? We finally got a solid starting five that we were able to start consecutive games with, and that really helped the cohesiveness of the offensive line. Coach Moeller and Coach Miles were really able to help us step up and communicate well. Then, after that, it was just kind of a sense of pride. It was like, you know what, we're the chubby guys, we're going to clear the way for the skinny guys, so that they can run, because that is their thing, and, we're gonna keep people off of Josh.
What sets Coach Moeller apart from other coaches? Well, you know, Coach Moeller is...I like to call him "vocal", to put it extremely delicately. He keeps us going in the right direction. He's hard on us, anybody on the team will tell you he's the hardest coach to play for because, I'd say he's the most intense. He never lets off of us.
Do you feel like, whatever Coach Moeller says, goes? We trust all of our coaches like that. That's part of the reason that our offense works is because we all believe in the system and we all buy into what we are doing here.
Being the middle of the offensive line, you are in charge of making reads and calling plays at the line of scrimmage. How would you define specifically your role on the offensive line? I guess you'd kind of consider me the quarterback of the offensive line. I do make the calls, and I pretty much tell everybody what we're doing, and what everybody is doing, and that way it keeps us all on the same page. The reality is, quite frequently we are all doing the wrong thing, but, since we're all doing the same wrong thing, it works out all right.
When you get to the line of scrimmage, how difficult is it to read the defense and make the calls? I'm usually pretty comfortable with it by the time game-time rolls around; Coach Moeller and Coach Miles have both done a good job of coaching us up. A lot of times, we know what is going to happen before it happens.
Obviously, Nebraska hit you with a complex blitzing scheme. Knowing that you will see a similar approach from most of the teams left on the schedule, how does this change the strategy of the O-Line? I wouldn't really call it a "new" strategy, I mean, we have a strategy in place, it's just how good we were at it at the time. Everybody who watched that game knew that our pass protection was pretty weak, and Josh especially knew it. But, the more games we play, the more solidified our package becomes, and our young tackles are really coming along...they're really stepping up their game, and Sam (Mayes) and Chris (Akin) and I are also stepping up our game and improving our pass protection as well.
Who are some young O-Linemen that OSU fans need to keep an eye on? I would say you need to keep an eye on Corey Hilliard. He's a true freshman this year, and he's really come out to play. He's gonna get extensive playing time, and he's going to be a great player here. Also "Big Sick", Kurt Seifried. He's gonna get a lot of playing time here too. He's the back-up center right now.
What label your greatest experience on the football field as a Cowboy? I would say definitely the Houston Bowl last year. We had so many big wins last year, but it all culminated at the Houston Bowl. That was a great win for us, and concluded a good building season for us.
Who are some of your best friends on the football team? I live with Sam Mayes, Big Ole' Sam, and Doug Koenig. Pretty much the O-Line, I hang out with the O-Line, pretty much most of the time. We hang out together, we party together, and we play together. That keeps some more cohesiveness within the offensive line, I think.
What does Ben Buie like to do off the football field? (Laughs). Ah, you know...I like to go out and have a good time!
What is your favorite place to eat in Stillwater? There are SO many. We (the O-Line) are big fans of the Joseppi's all-you-can-eat spaghetti and meatballs on Monday night...but, uh, you know some of us have a little bit of what you might call a "weight problem", so we shy away from that most of the time. El Tapatio, they treat us pretty well too.
You sat out the SMU game with a little bit of a sore back. Will the rest you got from not playing help you for the rest of the season? I think so. I think it was a good move on the coach's part. I think I could have played a little bit in that game. I'm pretty sure there is no way I could have finished the game. Judging by their defense, and the scheme, and Chris (Akin) was comfortable playing center because he played it all week. I got hurt last Tuesday, so he played it all week. I thought it was a good move for me, and I was also able to get some rest this week. I'll be able to go into this next game, and into the Big 12 stretch pretty healthy.