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Posted at 2:46 p.m., Saturday, December 1, 2007

East Carolina accepts bid to Sheraton Hawaii Bowl

Associated Press

GREENVILLE, N.C. — East Carolina accepted a bid Saturday to play in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl against a team from the Western Athletic Conference.

The game will be played at Aloha Stadium on Dec. 23. The Pirates' opponent was to be determined after the WAC's final regular season games and may not be announced until Sunday. Boise State is a candidate if Hawai'i gets a berth in a Bowl Championship Series game.

East Carolina had been a candidate for the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala., but that bowl selected Tulsa after its 44-25 loss to Central Florida on Saturday in the Conference USA championship game. The win put UCF into the Liberty Bowl, and sent the Pirates (7-5) on a long trip to a tropical destination for the holidays.

"This obviously will be a trip of a lifetime for many of us and a reward, especially for our seniors who have provided the program with leadership and stability during their career," East Carolina coach Skip Holtz said. "I'm looking forward to seeing all of us experience a different culture, one which I'm confident will provide many wonderful memories.

"Yet, with that said, it will also put us in a position to reach one of our goals this season which is a bowl championship."

East Carolina finished tied for second in the East Division of Conference USA with a 6-2 league record. It meant a second straight bowl appearance for ECU after a four-year absence. East Carolina lost to South Florida 24-7 last season in the Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Ala.

It will be the 14th bowl appearance overall for East Carolina, which is 7-6 in postseason games, splitting the past eight.

"We feel this game will certainly measure our progress," East Carolina athletic director Terry Holland said.

The Hawai'i Bowl kickoff is at 3 p.m. Hawai'i time.

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