The Armed Forces Bowl trophy, made of battlefield remnants from Iraq. - ESPN
Behind a strong defensive effort and a breakout performance by backup quarterback Driphus Jackson, the Rice Owls earned a two-touchdown victory over the Air Force Falcons, who gained a season-low 214 yards of total offense.
Rice backup quarterback Driphus Jackson completed 15-of-21 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns after replacing starter Taylor McHargue, who suffered a head injury in the second quarter. The Owls trailed by a touchdown when Jackson entered the game, but scored 26 unanswered points on a worn-down Falcons defense that was unable to stay off the field due in part to a stagnant offense.
Air Force received a temporary boost in the second quarter when they made a quarterback change of their own, replacing Connor Dietz with Kale Pearson. Aided by three Rice turnovers, Pearson led the Falcons on two scoring drives that turned a 7-0 deficit into a 14-7 lead. However, the offense stalled once again in the second half as the Falcons picked up just 25 yards on the ground after the break.
Box Score Hero: Rice wide receiver Jordan Taylor was the main beneficiary of Jackson's breakout game, catching nine passes for 153 yards and three touchdowns.
But Did They Cover?: Air Force entered the game as a one-point favorite, but didn't do themselves any favors with a 19-point loss.
For More On This Game: Head over to Mountain West Connection for additional information on Air Force and the rest of the Mountain West Conference. For more on Rice, be sure to visit SB Nation Houston.