Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - Driphus Jackson filled in for an injured Taylor McHargue quite admirably, as the freshman quarterback threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns to lead Rice in a 33-14 victory over Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl.
McHargue went down with a head injury after taking a big hit late in the second quarter, and with an efficient Jackson connecting on 15-of-21 passes, the Owls reeled off 26 unanswered points in the second half to win going away.
Jordan Taylor caught three touchdown passes after not catching any all year and finished with nine receptions for 153 yards for the Owls (7-6), who needed to win their final four games in the regular season to become bowl eligible.
Rice, playing in its first bowl game since 2008, turned it over three times in the first half, but after the break played mistake-free and held the Falcons to just two first downs.
Connor Dietz and Kale Pearson each spent time under center in Air Force's stagnant offense. Pearson ran for a touchdown, but threw for just 44 yards with an interception on 2-of-8 attempts, while Dietz was 1-for-3 in the air.
The Falcons (6-7) were outgained, 503-214, while running for only 166 yards -- roughly half their season average. They lost four of their last five games and ended with a losing record for the first time since 2006.