Defensive lineman Ken Bishop (Lauderhill, Fla./Piper/Ellsworth CC) was named Mid-American Conference West Division Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday.
Bishop turned in his best performance of his NIU career Saturday with five tackles, including four solo stops, and had a tackle for loss of two yards in the Huskies’ 63-0 shutout victory over Massachusetts at Huskie Stadium.
He also recovered a fumble in the game as Northern Illinois forced four Minutemen turnovers on the day.
The junior defensive tackle was part of a defensive line rotation that stopped the UMass run game and put pressure on the Minutemen quarterbacks. NIU limited UMass to an average of just 3.2 yards per play with 267 yards on 83 plays. UMass ran 46 times for 114 yards for a 2.5-yard average and averaged just 4.1 yards per pass with 20 completions on 37 attempts.
The Huskies have had a player win one of the MAC West Player of the Week honors in nine of 10 weeks this year. With Bishop’s selection, six different Huskies, including four from the defensive side of the ball, have earned the honor in 2012.
Bishop is the second defensive linemen in as many weeks to earn player of the week accolades from the conference. Defensive end Sean Progar (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South) won the honor last week. Last season, Northern Illinois players garnered just seven player of the week awards all year, with just two going to NIU defenders.