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Wayne Cavadi | | October 12, 2019

Missouri S&T becomes the 10th DII football school to take down an FCS team in 2019. Here's how.

DII Football plays of the week

A nice even 10.

For the tenth time this season, a DII football school defeated an FCS team as Missouri S&T took down Texas Southern 23-20 on Saturday.

The Miners went on the road to Houston and picked up the win, improving to 5-1 on the year. Here's what you need to know.

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The Miners kicker plays the unlikely hero

Senior kicker Ben Styron was having a rough season. He was 1-for-5 on field goals, missing his last four attempts. The Miners, however, never gave up faith in their kicker and on Saturday he rewarded them.

Styron went 3-for-3 on field goals on a day when the touchdowns came at a minimum. Styron hit from 32, 31, and what would hold up as the game-winner from 41 with 3:51 left in the third. It was a Texas Southern missed kick in the final seconds that clinched the Miners' win.

Styron also converted both extra points. Coming off a record-setting season for the Miners in 2018, this could be the boost Styron needed to get his season going. 

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Missouri S&T defense gets the scoring started

It didn't take long for the Miners to get a touchdown on the board. But for the team that's third-best in scoring in the Great Lakes Valley Conference at 38.0 points a game, it was the defense that got the day rolling.

Senior defensive back Ryan Kirkendall picked off Devin Williams and took it 18 yards to the end zone, putting the Miners up 7-0 less than three minutes into the game. It set the tone for the day, as Missouri S&T only trailed for a little over four minutes all day. 

The two teams ran the same amount of plays — 80 apiece — and Missouri S&T was actually outgained 446 to 397 by Texas Southern. The Miners used a big third quarter in which they limited Texas Southern to 44 yards to pull ahead for good, building just a big enough lead to hold off the fourth-quarter comeback.

WEEK 6 SHOWDOWN: Northwest Missouri State downs Pitt. State at Arrowhead

Miners off to best start since 2012

Missouri S&T went 10-1 back in 2012, making this the best start since that big season. Since dropping their opening week game by a touchdown, the Miners have reeled off five in a row, nearly doubling up their opponents 185-95. But the fun is just getting started.

The Miners have two top 25 teams ahead of them in consecutive weeks with a trip to No. 24 Truman next week and then No. 10 Indianapolis a week later. Awaiting them on Nov. 9 is a Lindenwood team yet to lose in the GLVC. The next four weeks will tell us a lot about these Miners, but for now, they are part of a fun trend in DII football.

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