Air Force 14, Rice 33—FINAL SCORE.
The Rice Owls won the 2012 Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas. What started as a potential shootout on paper ended up being something entirely different.
The first 10 minutes of the game were completely scoreless, and it was due to great defense from both teams. Rice then forced a fumble, and took the following drive into the end zone to score first. Air Force responded with three forced fumbles in the second quarter that led to a 14-7 halftime lead for the Falcons.
Rice solved the turnover and defensive issues in the locker room, and reeled off 26 unanswered points against a worn-out Air Force defense that couldn't handle the pass. Rice only allowed Air Force to manage two first downs in the entire second half, and the Owls ended the game with an interception that completely crushed any possibility of a miraculous comeback.
Air Force and Rice actually put together a monstrous defensive battle for three straight quarters. In the end, Rice had the energy left in the fourth quarter to put Air Force away. Rice pulled off its second bowl victory in 57 short years, and finished the 2012 season with a 7-6 record.
Final Score: Rice Owls 33, Air Force Falcons 14
Box score/Stat sheet image from ESPN.com.
Final Score: Rice 33, Air Force 14
Rice won the 2012 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl by dominating the second half. Stay tuned for the game recap and stats for both teams.
Rice 33, Air Force 14 with 1:38 left in the game.
Rice completed a touchdown pass on fourth-and-eight to put the game out of reach of the Falcons, and the Owls recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to take the game completely away from Air Force.
Rice picked off Kale Pearson to shift the momentum back in its favor with under four minutes to go. If Air Force can't return the favor by forcing a turnover, Rice will be taking the trophy home.
Rice 27, Air Force 14 with 4:31 left in the fourth quarter.
Air Force came up with a goal-line stand that kept the game on life support for the Falcons. Two touchdowns will still win this game, but Air Force needs to muster some real strength to get it done. Rice's field goal set the Owls' lead at 13 points.
That bomb of a pass may have just iced the game for Rice. If Air Force can't force a turnover or a field goal, this game is practically over.
Of course, we could be looking at another miraculous bowl comeback...
Rice has clearly solved its ball-security issues from the first half, and the Owls have also made the necessary adjustments on defense. Air Force just can't move the ball, and Rice is having only a little trouble moving the ball itself.
Rice 24, Air Force 14 with 11:18 left in the fourth quarter.
The 48-yard rush set up the field goal that has Rice up by two possessions in the final quarter.
Unbelievable "stiff-arm" by Turner Petersen to take that rush for 48 yards. He turned 180 degrees while pushing the tackler off him with one arm to gain an extra 10 on the play.
Rice has simply manhandled the Air Force offense in the second half. The Falcons defense absolutely cannot let Rice score on this drive. If Rice scores, that would likely be the game.
Air Force 14, Rice 21 with 14:25 to go in the fourth quarter.
Rice systematically moved the ball downfield to score the go-ahead touchdown. Air Force badly needs to answer on the next drive.
Air Force has two options: Either stop Rice's passing attack, or find a way to get its own ground game working.
Still Air Force 14, Rice 14 at the end of the third quarter.
Taylor McHargue is on the sideline in street clothes, according to the announcers. Rice fans, he's not coming back. You shouldn't be upset about that last part, since Driphus Jackson has been doing quite well.
Hopefully, McHargue's injury is minor and just requires rest.
It's a little disappointing that the announcers have virtually zero personality. There are some huge hits going on, and Rice is smothering the Air Force rushing attack at the moment. There should be some excitement.
Put your heart into the game, or go back to bed.
Air Force 14, Rice 14 with 9:30 left in the third quarter.
That was a huge drive for Rice, and it was made possible by three passes of over 20 yards. Air Force could be in serious trouble.
Rice really needed those two plays to get back into the game mentally. If Rice wins this game, the current drive is the spark that lit the fire.
Air Force led the second half off with its longest pass play of the game and capped the drive off with a punt. Rice is back in business, as long as it can avoid a turnover.
After halftime, Rice's running backs should be wearing receivers gloves. That would help eliminate the fumbling issue Rice had at the end of the first half.
Air Force 14, Rice 7 at HALFTIME of the 2012 Armed Forces Bowl.
The screenshot is from ESPN.com, and there are a few surprises. The turnover battle has decided the game so far, not just the offenses. Air Force is winning the turnover battle three-to-one.
Rice is successfully controlling the clock, but converting that time into points is the Owls' biggest problem. If Rice can bring ball security into the second half, this game is still in reach.
If Air Force can continue to win the turnover battle and keep finding success on the ground, this game could get ugly...for Rice.
Huge turnover for the Air Force Falcons! Rice should have tied the game before halftime, but Air Force recovered a third Rice fumble to preserve the seven-point lead heading into halftime.
This should be Rice's ball at the 15, and the replay booth's perfect record is on the line.
Pass interference is easily avoidable. You have to play the ball, people.