Birkholz Named Big 12 Player of the Week
Temple native ties school record with four field goals vs. Texas
November 16, 1998
DALLAS, Texas - While the 1998 Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship Game field has been set between North Division winner Kansas State and South champ Texas A&M, three standout student-athletes have been named as Big 12 Conference superlative performers for games of Nov. 14 by a group of media observers.
Kansas State senior quarterback Michael Bishop of Willis, Texas, is Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. Texas A&M senior linebacker Dat Nguyen of Rockport, Texas, is Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week while Big 12 Specialty Player of the Week is Texas Tech sophomore kicking specialist Chris Birkholz of Temple, Texas.
Birkholz, who replaced the injured Jaret Greaser earlier this autumn, tied the Texas Tech school record with four field goals in one game and bounced a critical, onsides kick which the Red Raiders recovered in a 42-35 come-from-behind victory over Texas in Lubbock last week. Birkholz, a nominee for GTE CoSIDA Academic All-America in 1998, had a personal-long 53-yarder on his first try of the game and made both his extra point tries against the previously-18th-rated Longhorns.
Bishop rushed for 140 net yards with a game-long 50-yard carry and two touchdowns on 25 carries and completed 19-of-33 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns to total 446 yards in total offense out of 512 yards by the K-State team. He led the Wildcats to their first victory over Nebraska in 29 contests (since 1968). Bishop led the Wildcats to the winning touchdown in the final moments with an 11-yard TD pass to Darnell McDonald, who made a career-high 12 receptions (second-best tally in KSU single game annals) for 183 yards and two TDs.
Nguyen had the best total among Big 12 defenders last weekend with 17 total tackles in the Aggies' 17-14 win over then-13th-ranked Missouri at College Station, Texas. The finalist for both the Butkus and Lombardi Awards notched three total tackles for losses and one quarterback sack while keeping the high-scoring Tigers out of the end zone on all but two occasions. Nguyen also helped the Aggies become the first South Division school to win back-to-back divisional crowns.