The Boise State and East Carolina football teams met for the first time since arriving in Honolulu, as both squads gathered on the beach of Waikiki for the Outback Steakhouse Barefoot Pep Rally on Tuesday evening.   The first official team function in a week full of activities included performances by both cheerleader teams, a dance off between players and comments from both head coaches.

“Our players have been jumping up and down for the past couple weeks in anticipation of getting here,” said Boise State head coach Chris Petersen.  “It’s truly our pleasure to play in this game, in such a great setting.  We’re anxious to play and put on a great show.”

East Carolina head coach Skip Holtz praised the Boise State team for its 10-2 record, as well as thanking his Pirate team in earning the school’s second consecutive bowl berth (lost to South Florida in the 2006 Bowl).

Boise State, I congratulate you for the season you have had.  For the history and tradition you are building,” said Holtz, who has rebuilt the East Carolina program.

Boise State will continue with its bowl practice schedule on Wednesday morning.  In the afternoon, Bronco players will visit Pearl Harbor, before meeting up with East Carolina again for a Royal Hawaiian Lua on Wednesday evening.

Thursday’s social schedule includes a beach party on Waikiki.  Friday evening, both teams will participate in the Kickoff Banquet at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.  And, on Saturday, players will make a charity hospital visit to the Honolulu Shriners Hospital.

The 2007 Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl kicks off at 3:00 pm Hawai’i Time (6:00 pm Mountain) on Sunday, December 23rd.   It marks Boise State’s sixth consecutive bowl game, the longest active streak among schools not from a BCS conference, and an eighth bowl appearance in the past nine years.  Boise State is 5-2 in its previous bowl appearances, including wins in the 1999, 2000 and 2002 Humanitarian Bowls, the 2003 Fort Worth Bowl and the 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

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