Beanie Bishop named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 9:53 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - WKU Football defensive back Beanie Bishop was voted Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week, the league announced Monday. The Louisville native had two tackles and two interceptions – including a 43-yard pick six – in the Hilltoppers’ 48-21 victory over Middle Tennessee on Saturday.

Bishop became the eighth different WKU player – and it was the ninth occurrence overall (Jonathan Dowling twice) – in the program’s FBS Era (since 2009) to record two interceptions in a game. It was the 14th pick six by the Hilltoppers during that time span, and the first since Eli Brown’s 22-yard score vs. FIU on November 21, 2020.

The redshirt sophomore became only the third C-USA defender in 2021 with two interceptions in a game, and the first since September 18. He returned his second interception 29 yards (to go along with the 43-yard touchdown made for a total of 72 return yards) to set up another Hilltopper touchdown. He also added two tackles on the afternoon.

Bishop had two of WKU’s six interceptions on the day, which set the team’s FBS Era program record and ranks second for a single game in C-USA history. Since 2009, it was only the 14th time an FBS team had six interceptions in a game. For the game, the Hilltoppers forced the Blue Raiders into seven turnovers, while scoring 31 points off those turnovers. It was only the 11th instance during that time span that an FBS team forced seven turnovers on defense while having zero turnovers on offense.

Bishop is the seventh WKU C-USA Player of the Week honoree so far in 2021, joining quarterback Bailey Zappe (three times), wide receiver Jerreth Sterns (once), safety A.J. Brathwaite, Jr. (once) and kicker Brayden Narveson (once). UTSA (six) and UAB (five) are the next-closest programs through Week 10 of this campaign.

Overall, Hilltopper Football has won 42 C-USA Player of the Week awards over the past seven-plus seasons – 19 Offensive, 11 Defensive and 12 Special Teams. WKU also won seven in 2014, then had nine in 2015.

Bishop was also named to the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll on Monday, which lists the most versatile players in major college football. In addition to his defensive statistics, he also had two kickoff returns for 48 yards. He leads qualified C-USA kickoff returners with a 26.1-yard average (14 attempts for 365 yards) so far this season, which includes a long of 45 in the opening game vs. UT Martin.

WKU improved to 5-4 overall and 4-1 in C-USA with the win over the Blue Raiders. The Hilltoppers look to build on their four-game win streak with a road trip to Rice on Saturday, November 13. Kickoff against the Owls (3-6 overall and 2-3 in C-USA) will be at 1 p.m. in Houston, Texas. With a victory, WKU would become bowl eligible for the 10th time in the past 11 seasons.

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