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A PRETTY GOOD TRIP SO FAR

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On the ride back from Rice's first practice at Aloha Stadium on Saturday, the bulk of the Owls were eagerly awaiting their arrival back at the Sheraton Waikiki when they would visit the Hawai'i Bowl Gift Suite to pick up their bowl gifts.

But their starting quarterback was far more interested in the constant flow of information that was coming to him over his cell phone.

While he was also excited to pick up the gifts that further validated his performance in his first year of leading the Owls' offensive attack, Jackson was equally enthralled with the efforts of the Cedar Hill Longhorns, who were locked in an epic duel with the Katy Tigers to decide the Texas Class 6A Division II state title for the third year in a row.

Jackson, who was a three-year starter for the Longhorns from 2008-10, was anxiously seeking the latest news as the two Texas titans took their rubber match down to the wire, except when he first checked his phone after practice, his delivery system was not working as planned.

"My girlfriend, Sydney Davis was supposed to be getting me the updates, but she was slacking early on as far as giving me the information," Jackson recalled after Sunday's workout at Aloha Stadium." I had to get on to her a little bit and from that point on she was basically giving me a play by play."

As Jackson and the Owls headed to the room in the hotel where the bowl gifts were waiting, he got the one piece of information he wanted most of all and Cedar Hill nailed a 25-yard field goal with two seconds left to down Katy for the second consecutive year.

"When I got the update when we won, the first person I had to go find was Coach (Larry) Edmondson, since he had told me he picked Katy to win and then I was messing with Nico (Carlson) because he was giving me a bad time because he's from Katy," Jackson stated.

Jackson's weekend brightened even more when he learned that his beloved Dallas Cowboys had demolished Indianapolis 42-7, making him 2-for-2 in terms of his rooting interests as a fan.

"It's refreshing to know that my high school is still handling its business long after I am gone and the young guys there are able to go out and dominate," Jackson noted. " And the Cowboys won today to clinch the division, so it's been a pretty good weekend."

On Wednesday, Jackson will look to close out the run by leading Rice to a win over Fresno State in the Hawai'i Bowl.   The Owls have never beaten the Bulldogs in six career meetings and should Jackson do so, he would also become the first Rice quarterback to win two bowl games.   His first win came in relief of an injured Taylor McHargue when he came into to complete 15-21 passes for 264 yards and a pair of touchdowns, 231 of those yards and both TDs in the second half as the Owls outscored Air Force 26-0 after the break to win 33-14.

After the success of his favorite high school and NFL teams, Jackson has a chance to complete the picture with a Christmas Eve win.   And he won't have to rely on any third parties to let him know how it turns out. 

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