ROLLA, Mo. – A clash between two of the top offensive teams in the Great Lakes Valley Conference is on tap for Homecoming Saturday afternoon at Allgood-Bailey Stadium as Missouri S&T plays host to Southwest Baptist in a 1 p.m. game.
The Miners enter Saturday's game as the top-ranked offensive team in the conference as they are averaging 456.1 yards per game and are second in scoring as they are putting up 34 points per contest, while SBU is third in the GLVC in total offense with 415.9 yards a game and is right behind S&T in the scoring department at 29.3 points per outing.
Missouri S&T, which had its five-game winning streak halted last week, is 5-3 overall and 3-1 in the GLVC entering Saturday's contest, while the Bearcats come in at 4-3 and 3-2 in GLVC play. SBU was idle last week and has won its last two games, most recently a 52-29 victory over William Jewell on Oct. 14.
ABOUT THE MINERS: Missouri S&T saw its longest winning streak since 2012 -- end with its 39-31 loss to McKendree on Saturday. The Miners led at halftime, but were outscored 25-0 in the third quarter and saw their late rally effort fall just short.
The loss spoiled another big game by Deshawn Jones (Olympia Fields, IL/Rich Central), who continues to lead the GLVC in rushing with 1,122 yards on the year. Jones, who is fourth in rushing yards in NCAA Division II entering play this week, is just the fourth back in Miner history to reach the 1,000-yard mark after running for 221 a week ago.
While Jones ranks fourth in rushing, quarterback Tyler Swart (Dickinson, TX/Dickinson)is eighth in the nation in passing yards with 2,309, making Missouri S&T the only team in Division II – and one of just three in all NCAA divisions -- with a rusher and passer among the top 10 in those categories.
Swart has completed 63.7 percent of his throws on the season as the Miners have four receivers with at least 20 catches on the season, led by Braxton Graham (Seneca, MO/Seneca) with 36. Justin Vaughn (Houston, TX/George Bush) has hauled in 27 passes while Logan Armontrout (Centralia, MO/Centralia) has made 25 receptions.
Placekicker Ben Styron (Harrisonville, MO/Harrisonville) made all three of his field goal attempts last week and is 11-of-13 in that department on the year.
The Miner defense enters today's game with the top-ranked unit in the GLVC as it has allowed just 292.4 yards per game. Austin Truvillion (Kansas City, MO/Park Hill) leads S&T with 69 tackles on the year, while Landon Compton (Lamar, MO/Lamar) has been in on 57 stops and along with Tershawn Wharton (University City, MO/University City), ranks among the league leaders in tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Compton has made a league-best 14.5 for a loss, while Tershawn Wharton (University City, MO/University City) is second in the league with 14 tackles for a loss and leads the conference with 7.5 quarterback sacks. Meanwhile, Ryan Kirkendall (Silsbee, TX/Silsbee) has a league-high 13 pass breakups and is sixth in the nation in passes defended this season.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST BAPTIST: The Bearcats enter Saturday's game with 4-3 record and have won their last two contests, rallying for a win at Truman State prior to a 52-29 victory over William Jewell two weeks ago.
SBU has two of the GLVC's top career offensive performers in quarterback TJ Edwards -- last year's offensive player of the year in the conference -- and wideout Kendrick Payne. Edwards is the league's all-time leader with 70 touchdown passes -- including 15 this year -- and has thrown for 7,433 yards in his SBU career.
Edwards has completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 1,897 yards with only three interceptions, with Payne and Jerminic Smith combining for 81 catches and 1,085 yards. Payne, with 40 grabs on the season, is second in GLVC history with 214 receptions and 30 scoring catches, just one shy of the league record.
Larry Nixon leads the SBU ground game with 317 yards after running for 107 in the win over William Jewell, while Edwards has 232 from the quarterback position.
The Bearcat defense is led by linebackers Tyler Curts, who has made 74 tackles on the season and Brycen Gagnon, who has been in on 69 stops. De'shawn Tone has 11 tackles for a loss this season and leads the Bearcats with five quarterback sacks.
Cornerback Cory Hanger is among the league leaders in passes defended with eight breakups and a team-high three interceptions among the nine recorded by SBU this season.