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HOUSTON The Rice Owls strong finish to the 2012 season was officially rewarded on Saturday when they accepted an invitation to face the Air Force Falcons in the 10th annual Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.

The bowl game will be played on Dec. 29 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth and broadcast nationally by ESPN.

Rice (6-6) earned their 10th bowl bid in school history and the third in the last seven years by winning five of the last six games in the season.

The Owls reached bowl eligibility by defeating UTEP 33-24 on Nov. 24 in El Paso. This is the second time the Owls have earned three bowl berths over a similar time frame. They made three bowl trips from 1957-1961.

This will be the Owls second consecutive bowl game in Texas and the seventh in history. Rice has played in four Cotton Bowls in Dallas, and both the Bluebonnet and Texas Bowls in Houston. Rice is 5-4 in bowl games, including a 38-14 win over Western Michigan in 2008.

The Falcons are also 6-6 this season, including a 5-3 record in the Mountain West Conference. Rice and Air Force have met six times in history, with the Falcons holding a 5-1 lead in the series. They last met in 1998 when Air Force took a 22-16 decision. Rice s lone win in the series came in 1986 (21-17).

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