Jackson leads Rice to Hawaii Bowl win
HONOLULU (AP) — Rice quarterback Driphus Jackson played his best game of the year to lead the Owls to a 30-6 victory over Fresno State in the Hawaii Bowl on Wednesday.
The other Christmas Eve college bowl game was the Bahamas Bowl — the first bowl game played outside the United States or Canada for 77 years — and the contest lived up to the occasion as Western Kentucky beat Central Michigan 49-48.
Rice’s Jackson passed for 318 yards and three touchdowns as the Owls capped a remarkable season in which they lost their first three games, yet ended up with their second bowl win in three years.
Jackson was accurate with his arm and dangerous with his feet, rushing for 41 yards and some key scrambles out of trouble.
Fresno State — the only team with more losses than wins this year to qualify for a bowl game — put in their worst offensive performance for the season.
The Bulldogs lost their sixth consecutive bowl game.
The inaugural Bahamas Bowl was decided only as time expired when Central Michigan attempted a two-point conversion which fell incomplete.
The Chippewas trailed 49-14 entering the fourth quarter before quarterback Cooper Rush engineered a comeback. He threw four touchdown passes in the final minutes, and they got the ball back at their own 25-yard line with one second remaining.
Rush completed a pass, and the ball was passed laterally three times before Titus Davis dived into the endzone for a touchdown with no time remaining.
Central Michigan could have gone for the regulation one-point conversion kick and forced overtime, but elected to go for two and the win, only to have the pass drop incomplete.
Rush threw seven touchdown passes for the Chippewas, tying an all-time bowl record, while winning quarterback Brandon Doughty threw five first-half touchdown passes for the Hilltoppers.