2014 Hawaii Bowl Recap
Rice Owls thump Fresno State 30-6 in Hawaii Bowl
What started off as a close, competitive game at the beginning of the first quarter, ended up in a blowout victory for the Rice Owls.
Kicker James Hairston started the scoring with a 21-yard field goal early in the first quarter, but Fresno State was able to tie it up 3-3 when Kody Kroening knocked in a 44-yarder of his own.
Just as it looked that the first quarter would end with a tie game, Rice quarterback Driphus Jackson threw for two touchdown passes in a span of 19 seconds to give the Owls a 16-3 lead.
The first of Jackson’s two scores was a 14-yard pass to Jordan Taylor that was set up by a 53-yard pass to Dennis Parks. On Fresno State’s next drive, quarterback Brian Burrell threw an interception and Jackson then completed his second touchdown pass on a 69-yard throw to Mario Hull.
Rice let their defense take over from there. The Owls gave up another 40-yard field goal to Kroening, but that was the last of the Fresno State scoring. Fresno state was held to just 96 yards passing and 2 interceptions and only 256 yards total on the game.
While Jackson and the Owls defense both played an outstanding game, the feel good moment that may outshine everything else came from a walk-on. Running back Jayson Carter, standing at 4 feet, 9 inches, carried the ball for the second time in his college career for a gain of two yards. Carter suffers from a genetic disorder that stunts his growth and had worked with the scout team for three years before making his college debut earlier this year against Utah.
This was the first time that Fresno State had lost to Rice in seven games and gave Rice its second bowl victory in three years.
After starting the season 0-3, the Owls will finish with an 8-5 record. Fresno State, the only team with a losing record to make a bowl appearance this year, falls to 6-8.
By Nikolai Gionti
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