- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 30, 2010

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) - East Carolina is headed to the Military Bowl.

The school said Tuesday that it had accepted an invitation to play in the Washington, D.C.-based bowl game on Dec. 29 against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent.

“An opportunity to play in the Military Bowl is exciting for the Pirate Nation and for team members due to its proximity for fans and families of the team, as well as the opportunity to play another ACC opponent this year,” athletic director Terry Holland said. “Washington will still be decorated for the holidays and the bowl experience provided by the Military Bowl committee is second to none.”

The Pirates (6-6, 5-3 Conference USA) went 1-2 against the ACC this season, beating North Carolina State and losing to North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

East Carolina is making its fifth straight bowl trip, the longest streak in school history, and seventh since 2000. The Pirates, who are 8-8 in bowl games, won consecutive C-USA titles in 2008 and ‘09 and played in the Liberty Bowl both years.

“I’m happy our seniors, a group that has provided this program with loyal leadership and stability during their careers and a time of transition, will have the chance to compete for a bowl championship and reach one of our goals this season,” first-year coach Ruffin McNeill said. “We are all looking forward to this special experience, something I know will provide us with lasting memories.”

The school said Steve Beck, the bowl’s executive director, is scheduled to issue an in-person invitation on Wednesday night at halftime of the Pirates’ basketball game against Charlotte.

The Military Bowl is played at RFK Stadium and is sponsored by Northrop Grumman.

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