Rice jumped out to a 7-0 lead on Taylor McHargue's 16-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Taylor, but fumbles on three out of the Owls' final four possessions of the half helped allow Air Force to take the lead.
What's worse, McHargue left the game in the second quarter with an injury after completing 6-of-8 passes for 31 yards and a touchdown, and adding 39 rushing yards on 10 carries. Driphus Jackson replaced McHargue, and led Rice deep into Air Force territory just before halftime. However, Jackson's errant pitch in the direction of Turner Petersen resulted in a turnover, allowing the Falcons to preserve their lead heading into the locker room.
Air Force switched quarterbacks as well, although its situation appears to be the result of a coach's decision. Kale Pearson replaced Connor Dietz midway through the second quarter, and led the Falcons on two scoring drives, one of which was capped off by Pearson's 9-yard touchdown run.