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2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl Daily Report & Photo Blog No. 2

Brian Bailey's photo gallery for Wednesday is directly below. His daily report is below the slide show.

Links to Day-by-Day Coverage: Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday | Saturday

(This gallery includes 16 photographs. Click the left or right pointers to slide the thumbnail navigation strip.)


Skip Holtz smiles at practice despite the inclement weather. (Photo: Brian Bailey, ©2009 and WNCT-TV 9.)



KEY LINKS:  Daily Report...  Photo Blog...  Audio Clips...

Messy day, touching day in Memphis

By Brian Bailey

WNCT-TV 9 Sports Director Brian Bailey is on the scene in Memphis bringing daily coverage of bowl week to Bonesville's readers and Channel 9's viewers. The week climaxes Saturday with East Carolina's Liberty Bowl showdown with Arkansas.

MEMPHIS — What a difference a day makes with the weather! Tuesday was a sunny, crisp day for the Pirates. Wednesday was a miserable mix of rain and cold for Skip Holtz and his squad.

Holtz said it wasn't any big deal.

"This isn't baseball," he joked. "We don't all sit in the dugout and put the tarp on the field when it rains. This is football and so we practice in the rain. Welcome to Memphis!"

The Pirates did shorten the Wednesday practice a bit because of the conditions. The squad once again utilized the new field turf at Memphis to get in some work.

Earlier in the day, 14 Pirates visited the St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis. If you ever think you have a bad day just spend a little time with these young ones and their parents. They certainly didn't ask to be sick. It breaks my heart to see the young ones like that, but those guys in the purple jerseys put a smile on their faces this morning.

"We play a game," said punter Matt Dodge. "These families are battling for their lives out here. It makes you think."

"I really appreciate these players coming out for something like this," said Kelly Church of Jonesboro, Arkansas. Kelly's 4-year old son Owen was among the children visiting with the Pirate players. "We'll show him the players on television on Saturday and he'll have talked to many of them. Our family are big sports fans and we watch a lot of college football."

Also on Wednesday in Memphis, the East Carolina offense was on display with a press conference of its own. Co-offensive coordinator Todd Fitch was pretty tight lipped about a game plan against Arkansas.

Fitch says his offense will once again look for balance, but he knows the Pirates will have to run the football to win.

Sixth-year quarterback Patrick Pinkney hinted that the Pirates might have a trick up their sleeve.

"It's the last game for many of us," said Pinkney. "Why not open up the playbook? We're going to have some fun!"

The fun in Memphis continues tomorrow with an awards luncheon and the big New Year's Eve pep rally featuring both team's bands and cheerleaders.

Content: Brian Bailey. ©2009 and WNCT-TV 9. All rights reserved.


PAGE UPDATED 01/03/10 05:41 AM.

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