East Carolina Accepts Conference USA Invite to 2013 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (December 8, 2013) – East Carolina, which has won nine games this season including a sweep of in-state rivals North Carolina and NC State, will be the Conference USA representative in the 2013 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg after accepting the bid.  The Pirates will face a to be determined team in the sixth edition of the bowl game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on MondayDec. 23 at 2:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.“East Carolina is a team that’s fun to watch and has a great reputation of travelling many fans to their bowl games,” said Brett Dulaney, Executive Director of the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg.  “The Pirates will be playing in our bowl for the first time, and we are glad to welcome the great enthusiasm ECU and their fans bring.”

“On behalf of the entire East Carolina University community, I want to thank the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl for the opportunity to bring our football program and Pirate Nation to St. Petersburg and Tropicana Field,” said Jeff Compher, East Carolina Director of Athletics.  “The Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl provides an opportunity to finish an already outstanding season with the second-highest single-season win total in 80 years of East Carolina football.  I am sure our loyal fan base will show up in force and enjoy the post-season experience of coming to a destination city for a premier bowl game.”

The Pirates are led by head coach Ruffin McNeill, who is in his fourth year at East Carolina. McNeill, a graduate of ECU, has 28 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level.  McNeill has led his team to its third bowl appearance in his four years as coach.

“I consider representing East Carolina in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl an honor, one our players and coaches are certainly looking forward to,” said McNeill. “I expect this experience to provide us many wonderful memories, especially for a group of seniors that offered this program quality leadership and guidance through their careers. It is also gratifying that this class, in particular, can play for a bowl championship and capture one of our goals this season.”

East Carolina (9-3, 6-2 C-USA) will be making the 19th bowl appearance in school history and first in the state of Florida since 1965 when they appeared in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, defeating the University of Maine 31-0.

ECU touts an explosive offensive team that averages 40.4 points per game. Junior QB Shane Carden has accounted for 42 touchdowns – 32 passing, 10 rushing – and is among the top five nationally in four categories, including a No. 1 ranking in completion percentage.  Junior WRJustin Hardy is sixth among all FBS pass catchers in receptions per game, and for the second consecutive season, has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards.  The Pirates also boast a strong ground game led by senior running back Vintavious Cooper who enters the Bowl needing five yards to record back-to-back 1,000 rushing yard seasons.

Tickets for the 2013 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg are on sale now and start as low as just $35. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

Fans can enjoy the pregame festivities in The Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl Party Deck, the only on-field hospitality village in all of professional or college football.  Fans can sit right behind the team bench and hear all of the hard- hitting action.  It will be the only Beef ‘O’ Brady’s location where fans can literally be in the huddle and still enjoy all the food and beverage served at this premiere event.  For tickets in The Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl Party Deck, fans may contact Carlos Padilla at 727-290-9865 for more information.

The Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl is owned by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN.



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