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Pirates hold cram session

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
GREENVILLE — East Carolina football players may have finished up with exams, but they’re not yet done studying.
The Pirates will go through a bit of a “cram session” over the next three days as they prepare for No. 24 Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl. The game between the Pirates (7-5) and Broncos (10-2) will begin at 8 p.m. Dec. 23 and be televised by ESPN.
The third-year ECU coach said the Pirates will go “extremely hard” in practice through Sunday, which will include meetings and walk-throughs.
Holtz said he’s hoping to get much accomplished before the team departs for Hawaii on Monday.
The Pirates will board a bus and leave ECU at 6 a.m. Monday. ECU players and coaches will board a plane at 8 a.m. in Kinston and take off for the 12-hour flight to Hawaii.
The Pirates are scheduled to land at 2 p.m. Hawaii-time Monday, where Holtz will immediately put his team to work. ECU will head to Aloha Stadium for a brief workout.
The Pirates will practice in Hawaii for five days leading up to the Dec. 23 bowl game. ECU will practice from 9:30 to 11:30 each morning and then hold meetings in the afternoon.
After a short practice Monday in shorts, the team will put on helmets and shoulder pads for Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s practice. The team will be back in shorts Thursday and Friday and then have a walk-through Saturday.
In between practices, the Pirates will have a chance to visit Pearl Harbor, go to a water park, experience a luau, hit the beach and take in the sights.
Holtz said the team will have to balance football and fun while in Hawaii.
Holtz said the trip to Hawaii is already a once-in-a-lifetime deal for many, adding that a bowl victory would add to it.
HEALING
The time off between ECU’s last regular season game and the bowl game has been beneficial to those players who were banged up. Holtz was expecting linebacker Daniel Muhewzi to return to the practice field Friday. He also said linebackers Jeremy Chambliss and Nick Johnson should be good to go as well.
The only two players of significance out for the bowl game are defensive end Marcus Hands and offensive lineman Fred Hicks.