December 29, 2012

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Preview

Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Preview ENTERTAINMENT NO COMMENTS EDIT Bookmark and Share

By Dic Humphrey

Special Contributor

Rice AFB helmetRice will play Air Force this Saturday in the 10th annual Bell Helicopter Armed Services Bowl, which returns to newly renovated Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth after a two year hiatus on the east side of the Metroplex at SMU’s Ford Stadium.

The Amon Carter renovation cost $164 million, and Saturday’s game will be the first bowl game in the venue since the renovation. It will be the fourth appearance for Air Force in the Bowl, which beat Houston in 2009, while losing to Houston and Cal in 2008 and 2007 respectively. Rice will be making its initial appearance in the Armed Services Bowl and its first bowl appearance since 2008.

Bell Helicopter, a Textron Company, has been the name sponsor of the Bowl since 2006. It was originally known as the Plains Capital Fort Worth Bowl in 2003 and 2004, and the Fort Worth Bowl in 2005.

Rice finished the season with four straight wins to qualify for the bowl, the 10th in school history. The Owls have a 5-4 record in previous bowl games including a 3-1 record in the Cotton Bowl. They will wear throwback uniforms to honor their 1957 team that won the Southwest Conference, but they will have specially designed helmets (as pictured on the right) for the game. The usual old English “R” logo will adorn the side of the navy blue helmet, but it will be colored with the American flag stars and stripes. The center stripe will also have the stars and stripes look as opposed to the normal white stripe.

Air Force, which is a 2-1/2 point favorite on the betting line, ranked second in the nation in rushing with a 328.8 average per game. Army at 369.8 yards per game was first. Air Force has at least one rushing touchdown in 47 consecutive games, the longest current streak among FBS schools. The Falcons will be facing Rice for the seventh time as they hold a 5-1 record in the previous six meetings.

Both Rice and Air Force have a College Football Hall of Fame inductee in this year’s class. Rice quarterback Tommy Kramer and Air Force’s Scott Thomas received the honors and brings the total inductees from these two schools to 13.

The game is scheduled to kick-off at 10:45 AM (Central), the first of five bowl games scheduled for this Saturday. ESPN will televise the game. The weather forecast for Saturday is sunny with a high of 48. The teams are already in the area, with Air Force arriving Monday and Rice on Tuesday.

 

 

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