Following Mississippi State’s win over LSU Saturday, senior offensive lineman Ben Beckwith was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week by the conference. On Wednesday, he sat down with reporters to talk about the award, the big win and a bit more.
Ben Beckwith: I just want to start off by saying that was a great win. It was great for everybody. Our team played great. Josh had an awesome game. I was proud of him being from Louisiana. Dak, all them. We played hard for them.
I was telling people earlier: it was expected. Coach Mullen was talking about it earlier. Back in Florida when they won in 2010, the locker room was going nuts, going crazy, because they didn’t expect to win that game. But Saturday, we came to the locker room and it was just like a normal game to us. Everyone was excited, of course, but some of us had a bad taste in our mouths from how it ended. It showed how much of a mature group we have.
We were like, yeah, we won, but we expected to win. We did what we expected to do. It was an awesome win and we’re just addressing stuff that needs work on every week. After you win, it doesn’t matter, you still have stuff you have to work on.
Question: You said it was expected. You expected to dominate like that?
Ben: Yeah, we honestly did. Not just because I’m talking to y’all. We went in there knowing. We watched film all week on those guys. They’re a great group. We just looked at ourselves. We had the preseason, as people were saying, but we had people doubt us as an offensive line, saying we weren’t what everybody was expecting. We met as a group and said, ‘This is our game. We’re gonna dominate. We’re gonna go out there and show them. We’re a group to recognize. Our whole team was like that. Our defense, D-line, our secondary, our quarterback – everybody on our team just wanted to go say, ‘Hey, this is us. This is who we are. This is what you’re gonna get every week.’
They’re a great team, I’m not downplaying them at all. We felt it all week. There’s not a person in our locker rom that ever doubted we were gonna dominate those guys.
Q: So you won SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week, and you were the first former walk-on to do it.
Ben: It was awesome. I found out Tuesday night. I got a text saying, ‘Turn it on SEC Network.’ I turned it on. I didn’t know what to expect. I thought maybe I was in some trouble or something. I saw it on there and it was awesome. I didn’t really know how to take it. I just kind of sat there in awe. It was awesome. My running back makes us look good, our running back. It’s an award for our group. It shows we all played well. I couldn’t have done it without my guys around me. Dillon, both the Justins and Blaine, we all played a great game.
That award, it’s awesome to get, but it shows you how far we’ve come as a team. We had two people get an award in one week from Mississippi State. You didn’t hear that a few years ago.
Ben: It was crazy. I got like 20 phone calls. My Twitter was blowing up. It was just nuts. I got I don’t know how many followers on Twitter and Instagram. It was awesome though. It was cool because everyone was showing me love. It made me feel good about all the work I’ve put in over the years, how far I’ve come. It was kind of like saying, ‘Yeah, it was worth it.’
My mom, she called me and she was almost in tears saying, ‘You’ve worked so hard. It’s gotta be awesome to get this award and reassure that you’ve worked this hard and got this far.’ It’s reassurance.
Q: Does the win do the same thing for the team that the award did for you?
Ben: You can’t put into words what that win meant. I’ve been here five years, it was insane. I went out a winner in Baton Rouge in Death Valley at nighttime. You can’t ever take that away from me or any of these seniors or anyone on the team. It’s something I’ll never forget until the day I die. I’ll tell everybody about it. I’ll definitely never forget it. It definitely tops the award. If I’d have got that award and we lost, it wouldn’t have meant anything to me.
Q: With Dillon Day out, Coach Mullen said you’re one of the guys who will replace him at center. What’s that adjustment like?
Ben: The difference is maybe timing, because you’ve got somebody on top of you. I talk a lot anyway. Some people tell me to shut up sometimes because I’m always up there pointing at stuff. It’s really not that much difference. It’s a timing deal, getting everybody where they need to be. I think the main reason they want to put me there is because we’ve gotta have somebody with long hair at center. It’s really not that much different. It’s a few technique differences.