In David Bailiff’s six seasons with Rice, the Owls have had just one winning season, a 10-win campaign in 2008.
Thanks to an Armed Forces Bowl win over Air Force on Saturday, Rice can declare an end to its losing ways once again. The Owls scored 26 unanswered points and 19 fourth quarter points to break what was a 14-14 tie with the Falcons to pick up the 33-14 win.
Rice’s offense showed good balance with 295 yards passing and 210 yards rushing. With under two minutes to play in the game, Air Force was still down just 13 points and not completely out of opportunities to mount a comeback. However, Rice quarterback Driphus Jackson completed a 34-yard touchdown to Jordan Taylor on fourth down to seal the deal.
On the ensuing kickoff, Air Force had the ball stripped and Rice, which recovered the loose ball, was able to take the victory formation. It’s Rice’s second bowl victory in the past 56 years.
Things are not so rosy for Air Force. The Falcons lost to Army and Navy, as well as finish with a losing record for the first time since 2006.