WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) – Driphus Jackson completed 15 of 21 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns as Rice defeated Army 41-21 on Saturday.
Rice’s defense allowed Army 342 yards of total offense, including 251 on the ground, but Rice recovered two Army fumbles and held the Black Knights to 5 of 13 on third-down conversions.
The Owls (3-3) converted a pair of third downs on their game-opening drive, which concluded with Brandon Hamilton’s 2-yard touchdown run.
Army (2-4) responded later in the first quarter when fullback Larry Dixon scored from 2 yards out. It was career touchdown No. 22 for Dixon, moving him into a tie for 10th place on Army’s all-time list with Charlie Jarvis (1966-68).
Rice opened the second quarter with 17 consecutive points. Darik Dillard scored on a 15-yard touchdown run, James Farrimond kicked a 23-yard field goal and Jackson completed a 5-yard pass to Mario Hull as Rice took a 24-7 lead.
Army’s Angel Santiago was sacked by Alex Lyons for a 7-yard loss on the first play of the Black Knights’ final first-half possession, but Santiago still managed to lead a scoring drive. Dixon gained 43 yards on a run up the middle on the next play and Santiago connected with Xavier Moss on a 7-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds remaining in the half to cut the Rice lead to 24-14.
Rice’s Christian Covington recovered a Santiago fumble at the Army 41-yard line with 12:40 remaining in the third quarter. On the next play, Jackson found Jordan Taylor for a 41-yard touchdown reception, giving Rice a 31-14 lead 10 seconds after Santiago’s fumble.
Santiago scored on a 24-yard run midway through the third quarter, bringing Army within 10 points. Jackson hit Dillard on a 10-yard touchdown strike later in the third to put Rice ahead by 17.
On an option play early in the fourth quarter, a low pitch from Santiago intended for Tony Giovannelli was fumbled and recovered by Rice’s Bryce Callahan at the Army 32. Rice couldn’t turn that turnover into points, ending the drive with a punt after a holding penalty negated a 46-yard field goal by Farrimond.
Farrimond made a 24-yard field goal with 6:48 to play to cap the scoring.
Army, which defeated Ball State at home last week, has not won back-to-back games since beating North Texas and Duke in consecutive weeks in mid-September 2010.
Rice running back Jowan Davis ran 21 times for 77 yards and wide receiver Zach Wright had five receptions for 47 yards.
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