SHREVEPORT, La. — The Independence Bowl featured the two best running teams in the nation, and special teams proved to be the unlikely difference.
Air Force cashed in when Georgia Tech muffed a punt in the second half, getting a go-ahead touchdown run from Jared Tew in a 14-7 victory Monday.
Backup kicker Zack Bell converted the first two field-goal attempts of his career before Tew's three-yard run gave the Falcons (9-4) the lead for good. Air Force's only touchdown came four plays after Daniel McKayhan's second muffed punt of the game.
Georgia Tech's 327 yards rushing per game this season edged Air Force's 317.9 average for the nation's top spot. Both teams were held under their average — Georgia Tech had 279 and Air Force finished with 170.
Air Force's Tim Jefferson completed 11 of 23 passes for 117 yards. Bell's field goals came from 41 and 42 yards.
Georgia Tech's Tevin Washington rushed for 131 yards and Anthony Allen added 91 as Georgia Tech (6-7) outgained Air Force 320-287.