WEST POINT, N.Y. - In the final non-conference action of the season, Rice University football took an early lead and never let up in a 41-21 win at Army. The Owls gained 391 yards to the Black Knights' 341 and forced a pair of turnovers to secure the victory.
Rice took the ball first and marched 73 yards for a score as Brandon Hamilton recorded his first-career touchdown on a two-yard rush. The drive was highlighted by Darik Dillard's career long 35-yard run. Army responded to tie the game late in the first quarter after taking advantage of good field position.
The Owls then tacked on three more scores in the second quarter, including touchdowns by Dillard and Mario Hull and a James Farrimond 23-yard field goal, to push the lead to 24-7. The Black Knights responded just before the half with a touchdown to pull within 10 points at the intermission, 24-14.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Christian Covington recovered an Army fumble and set up the Owl offense with a short field. The visitors needed just one play to capitalize as Driphus Jackson hit Jordan Taylor with a 41-yard touchdown pass on the first play. It was Taylor's 15th career score, moving him into a tie for fifth place in Rice's career record book.
Army responded with a long touchdown drive on its next possession to cut the Rice lead to 10 points once again, but it wasn't a two-score game for long. The Owls answered with a 62-yard touchdown drive, capped off with a nine-yard pass from Jackson to Dillard. Later in the fourth quarter, the Owls tacked on the day's final points courtesy of a second Farrimond field goal.
Jackson completed 15-of-21 passes for 209 yards and three scores, and ran the ball seven times for 29 more yards. Davis led the team with 77 yards on 21 carries while Dillard finished with 73 yards on nine rushes.
Taylor's 72 receiving yards led the team while Zach Wright added 47 on five catches.
Gabe Baker led the defense with eight tackles and a fumble recovery, just ahead of Covington and James Radcliffe with seven tackles apiece. Radcliffe also had three tackles for loss as the team racked up a season-high 13 TFL, one more than last week's total against Hawai'i.
Army's Angel Santiago rushed 23 times for 106 of his team's 250 yards on the ground. He also completed five passes for 37 yards and a score.
The Owls allowed a season-best 91 passing yards on 14 attempts.
The Owls have a bye next week before hosting North Texas on Oct. 25 at Rice Stadium.