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Tschirgi back where he belongs.

Byline: GRILLED DUCK by Rob Moseley The Register-Guard

Grilled Duck is a game-day question-and-answer session with a member of the Oregon football team. Today's installment features offensive guard Josh Tschirgi, a 6-foot-4, 311-pound junior from Vancouver, Wash.

Question: You've missed a couple games with an ankle injury. How are you feeling heading into the Washington game?

Answer: Well, I'm back out there running, which is encouraging because it was a fairly serious injury and it's only been two weeks. So I'm back out there running, and I'm feeling great about that. The goal is to be full-speed by game day, and contribute to what we've got going here. If I'm 90 percent, I'll play. Eighty percent, I'll probably play.

Question: What has it been like, sitting out and watching the other guys from the sideline?

Answer: It's been tough. Especially since we lost that game up at Wazzu. I'm a Washington native, so that was really rough on me. I would have done anything I could to play in that game, but it was just too quick after the injury. In one regard, the five starting linemen - Enoka, me, Palauni and the other guys - have something pretty special as far as communication. There's no a lot of mulling around, we just get stuff done. But at the same time, I thought Jon Teague filled in pretty admirably, especially during the Wazzu game, and did a nice job. Yeah, it was obviously terribly disappointing; a little bit of my soul was hurting, especially during the Washington State game.

Question: You mentioned the starting linemen, who had been together 16 straight starts before your injury. Was it particularly hard watching the other four play without you?

Answer: Well, it was, it was difficult. You know, I think it might have been a little tough for Enoka, just because of what happened on that particular play when I got hurt, where me and Enoka bumped into each other. It was tough for all of us, but yeah, it was hard on me. It made me feel good that the other four guys want me back as soon as possible - they've been begging me, you know, telling me `We need you, we really need you back.' It was encouraging. It made me feel like a valuable part of this team.

Question: Did you get anything out of the experience of watching from the sideline?

Answer: No. Well, yeah, but nothing substantial. It made me realize how lucky I am to be on this team, and to be part of that group of five, which I think is a pretty special group.

Question: But you still managed to be happy for Teague?

Answer: I'm happy for Jon, that he got a couple starts. Especially against Portland State, when he got a chance to be captain and start in front of his hometown. Jon's been a tireless worker here since the day he got here, and coach Wood (offensive line coach Steve Greatwood) appreciates him, and I appreciate him.

Question: So, being a Washington guy, does the Husky game mean anything special to you?

Answer: Yes. The Huskies didn't offer me a scholarship. I'm a home-state guy, so that was obviously tough. I didn't feel like I got much in-state love. Which is fine. I found a nice home here. But I'm excited to play them.

Question: Did you grow up a Husky fan?

Answer: I'm not going to say that.

Question: OK, fair enough. But you were aware of them, you could say?

Answer: I was aware of the Huskies, and also aware of the Ducks.

Question: But you've seen games in Husky Stadium, for instance?

Answer: Yeah, I followed the Huskies during the Tuiasosopo era, so it's a particularly important game to me. I followed the Huskies, and I know what they do up there. They have a good tradition, and all that stuff.

Question: So it sticks in your craw they didn't offer you?

Answer: It doesn't to this day, because at this point I've been here and we've had a fairly successful time here. The other thing is, recruiting is like an adopted kid. Which family is going to adopt you? When you're a recruit, especially me - I was kind of an under-the-radar guy - it's like, which family was going to adopt me? The Ducks came in, they showed the love and I came here.

- Rob Moseley
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Nov 4, 2006
Previous Article:Ducks falls just short of Huskies.

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