ECU To Face Kentucky In Liberty Bowl

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – East Carolina will play Kentucky in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl’s Golden Anniversary Game on Friday, January 2, 2009 at 5 p.m. (ET). The game will be televised by ESPN.

East Carolina (9-4) will be making its third appearance in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The Pirates earned their spot in the game after defeating Tulsa 27-24 Saturday and winning the Conference USA championship. East Carolina played in the 1994 (vs. Illinois) and 1995 AutoZone Liberty Bowl games, defeating Stanford 19-13 in the 1995 contest.

"We are excited about the opportunity to represent Conference USA in the 50th Anniversary of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl," East Carolina Head Coach Skip Holtz said. "It's going to be a phenomenal trip. This is what we've talked about beginning with the first day of practice - the road to Memphis and what we've got to do to get there. I can't tell you how excited we are as a program and as a university to be there. It's a fitting reward for the team and the fans, because they put it out there on the line too."

“East Carolina has great fans and they're pumped up for the return trip to Memphis and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl after thirteen years,” said AutoZone Liberty Bowl executive director Steve Ehrhart. “Nearly four thousand Pirate fans waited an hour last night to welcome the team back home, that’s a sure sign they are dedicated and ready to celebrate a championship season in Memphis.”

Kentucky (6-6) will be making its first appearance in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Memphis area resident and starting defensive end Jeremy Jarmon leads the Wildcats’ defensive unit. The bowl trip to Memphis marks a return trip to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl for Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks, who played in the game for Oregon State in 1962.

“It’s great that we’re playing in the 50th anniversary of a game that I actually played in when the game originated in Philadelphia,” said Brooks. “I think it’s an honor to play a conference champion, particularly one that was as hot to start the season as East Carolina was, and the way they finished the year will be a great test for our program.”

“We’re excited to have Kentucky in our game for the first time in the Bowl’s 50-year history,” Ehrhart said. “To have Jeremy Jarmon lead the Wildcats back to his hometown and to have a legendary coach of Rich Brooks’ stature return to the Bowl after more than 40 years is unique and special as we celebrate the Bowl’s 50th anniversary.”

The Pirates and Wildcats have faced off once previously as Kentucky posted a 6-3 victory on Nov. 13, 1993 in Lexington. On the other hand, East Carolina will try to make it two in a row against Southeastern Conference members after handing South Carolina a 21-3 setback in 1999.

ECU will have ticket, travel, and other ancillary information available on Monday, December 8th. All seating will be assigned using the Pirate Club priority point system. When ordering online Pirate Club members must login first and then place the order. Tickets will be available through the Athletic Ticket Office and by phone at 1-800-DIAL-ECU. Office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Orders may also be placed online through the Online Ticket Center.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by deadfish Location: NC on Dec 27, 2008 at 08:43 PM
    joepirate: Cal 24 Miami 17. Like I said ECU can't beat Cal and I doubt they can even beat Miami...
  • by deadfish Location: NC on Dec 23, 2008 at 09:05 PM
    Alex: Do you know anything about the Kentucky FB program? I make comments that I am able to back-up... Thank you
  • by Alex Location: Vanceboro on Dec 23, 2008 at 11:21 AM
    Kentucky should be prepared to be embarrassed! what a joke.
  • by deadfish Location: NC on Dec 22, 2008 at 06:20 PM
    Sam & ECU fans: Check: http://rivals100.rivals.com/viewprospect.asp?pr_key=52731&sport=1 The above link: 1. Contradicts Sam's unfounded rhetoric. 2.It does NOT support his Spikes-Joseph comparison I couldn't find any data to contradict his 4.00 plus Joseph's GPA claim. I challenge that by saying Joseph had offers from ONLY ECU and Georgia Tech. Furthermore Spikes was #2&5 Stars in NC and Joseph #59&3 stars in FL. Simply stated a 5 star recruit can go anywhere, hello? Particularly if the 5 star prospect has the GPA to tag along with, hello? Also the above link clearly states that Mr. Joseph never committed to Florida. How can he commit to Florida when he was [NOT] offered a scholarship to begin with? Mr. Sam hello? It is Sam's MO, go figure... I can understand your anti California attitude. Do yourself a favor and tone down your prejudicial quotes and clichés. They don't impress anybody. Thank you
  • by deadfish Location: NC on Dec 22, 2008 at 03:46 PM
    Sam: Your diatribe is duly noted. Secondly have you ever spent any significant time in California? Thirdly with ALL due respect [READ] carefully. It is easy to pick and choose then take out of context and vent ALL your rants. The worst part is you did NOT make any points. Like I said ECU is rated #206 academically in the nation. That is a fact and I did NOT make that up. Sam what were they rated 5-10 years ago according to your "intellectual" statement? Yes, the WU stinks but that doesn't mean that the PAC-10 stinks. Once more ECU will NOT beat Arizona, Arizona ST, Cal, Oregon or Oregon St. Arizona beat convincingly #16 BYU. Finally to clear things up I meant to say for the Pirates to be ready [next year] for both VT & WVU. I've never said they weren't " prepared". Duke is ahead of ECU CFB recruiting wise according to Rivals.com. Two years from now would ECU beat Duke? UHM? I take Duke's David Cutcliffe as my college coach over Skip Holtz anytime. Mr. Cutcliffe résumé is thicker.
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on Dec 22, 2008 at 10:25 AM
    Also, how can anyone say Virginia Tech was not prepared to play when they were up 14-0 to start the game huh huh huh? How can you not be prepared if you are up 14-0 on a solid ECU football squad, for that matter how can you not be prepared when you are up 14-0, even on a winless Washington Husky Dog Squad(did I mention that they are in the Pac-10? huh huh huh?). Think of something better than that stupid comment you said. That is just being an ignorant Anti-ECU person who should move west of I-95 or out of my home state, better yet in California, where its like a foreign country.
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on Dec 22, 2008 at 10:18 AM
    Deadfish, Brandon Spikes I know did that, but look at Linval Joseph for ECU, from the state of Florida, and got big offers from both Florida and Miami and finished with a better than a 4.0 GPA from his high school. He backed out of his commitment to Florida and decided to go to East Carolina. Skip Holtz talked him into that. He loved what this pirate football team is doing and the direction they are headed back to. And that comment you sent to joepirate, ECU's academic standards have improved way way up from five and from ten years ago, and Duke is still garbage in Football and Baseball, so there ya go. I would also encourage my kid to go to ECU, no matter what for. First of all, I never tried uch a thing as Big Ten vs. Pac Ten, but if you really want to know, I will say that the Big 12 then the SEC is the best conferences in football. I could care less for any school out on the West Coast to start with. They might as well be a different county out in California for all I care.
  • by deadfish Location: NC on Dec 20, 2008 at 09:28 PM
    joepirate: Arizona 31 (16)BYU 21. Are you going to continue to trash the PAC-10? Like I said ECU would NOT beat Arizona. Alabama will crush Utah and Texas will demolish OSU. Stay tuned!
  • by deadfish Location: NC on Dec 20, 2008 at 11:01 AM
    The Pirate Lady: Check: http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/TheRecruitnik/entry/view/michigan_commitment_switches_to_tulsa This is a big catch for Tulsa-a four star QB. ECU & CFB fans: ESPN Desmond Howard questioned WHY 6-6 record teams such as ND who lost to Syracuse at ND play in any bowl. Add UK VS ECU. I agree with him when he said: "a wrong message is sent to the kids". ESPN Trevor Matich added that money is the business factor, go figure.
  • by deadfish Location: NC on Dec 18, 2008 at 06:50 PM
    joepirate: My neutral example was to show you and other ECU FANS that before you think of BCS status ECU's academic status must improve way, way up. Being #206 academically in the nation will NOT help your cause regardless of your athletic accomplishments(?). That is WHY Duke is so dominant in basketball. They have the athletic muscle plus the brain power reputation. USC has the same in CFB. ND is still a huge recruiting magnet despite their recent competitive drought. ECU can even beat ND! I make it easier for you. If you have a son who is a gifted athlete and has the brain power to write his own ticket you would be doing him a disservice if you push him to go to ECU. Let's assume he wants to go to ND, Cal or Vanderbilt are you going to stand in the way? You can interpret whatever you want and paint your rosy scenarios as well ECU is a long way from a BCS status, period. Good night!
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