The Rice and Air Force football teams celebrated a white Christmas in Fort Worth and got their country on last night at Billy Bob’s.
Now with two days left until the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, the focus returns to the field. Rice (6-6) and Air Force (6-6) will square off at 10:45 a.m. CST Saturday. The game will be broadcast on ESPN. Air Force is a 3 point favorite.
Here are 10 somewhat random fun facts about the teams and the game.
1. Air Force has won five of the six matchups between the teams. Rice’s only win was a 21-17 victory in Houston on Nov. 22, 1986. That same day Mike Tyson knocked out Trevor Berbick in two rounds for the heavyweight WBC boxing title. The last time the teams met was a WAC conference game on Nov. 21, 1998. Air Force won 22-16.
2. The Armed Forces bowl started in 2003. A Conference USA team has played in eight of the nine games. C-USA teams have gone 2-6. The last win was Houston in 2008. The Mountain West is 2-2 in the bowl game.
3. This season Rice is 3-0 when scoring on its opening drive. The team is 3-1 when allowing less than 20 points.
4. This season Air Force is second in the nation in rushing offense average (329 a game), first in the nation in sacks allowed average (0.5 a game), first in fewest penalties average (3 a game) and first in fewest penalty yard average (25 a game).
5.Air Force has 17 players on its varsity roster from the state of Texas. Rice has two players that are transfers from Air Force. Trevor Caswell of Stony Point, Texas, and Ryan Pollard of Arlington, Texas, each began their careers at Air Force.
6. Rice is 5-4 all-time in bowl games, and 3-1 in games played in Dallas-Forth Worth. The Owls played in four Cotton Bowls between 1938 and 1958, defeating Colorado, North Carolina and Alabama. The loss was to Navy.
7. Air Force Coach Troy Calhoun is coaching in his sixth straight bowl game, which is the 11th longest streak in the country. Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech is first with 20 consecutive bowl games, followed by Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and Georgia’s Mark Richt.
8. This season Air Force went 1-4 against other bowl teams (win over Nevada). Rice went 1-2 against bowl teams (defeated SMU).
9. Air Force is 1-7 at Amon G. Carter Stadium, including a 0-5 record against TCU. Rice is 13-20-1 while playing TCU at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
10. Rice quarterback Taylor McHargue and Air Force receiver Drew Coleman were high school teammates at Vista Ridge High School in Cedar Park, Texas. Brandon Hamilton of Rice and Chris Miller of Air Force each attended Copperas Cove High School in Copperas Cove, Texas. Bryce Callahan of Rice and Colton Huntsman of Air Force each attended Cypress Woods High School in Cypress, Texas. James Radcliffe of Rice and Alex Ludowig of Air Force each attended Cinco Ranch High School in Katy, Texas.