GREENVILLE, N.C. — East Carolina University announced its 2022 football schedule on Thursday.
In addition to featuring seven home games for the third time in the last six years, ECU’s schedule includes contests against seven bowl qualifiers and four programs which were included in final Top 25 polls a year ago according to a release of the league’s composite slate Thursday by the American Athletic Conference.
Sep 3 (Sat) TBA Home NC State Greenville, N.C. (Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium)
Sep 10 (Sat) TBA Home Old Dominion Greenville, N.C. (Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium)
Sep 17 (Sat) TBA Home Campbell Greenville, N.C. (Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium)
Sep 24 (Sat) TBA Home Navy Greenville, N.C. (Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium)
Oct 1 (Sat) TBA Away South Florida Tampa, Fla.
Oct 8 (Sat) TBA Away Tulane New Orleans, La.
Oct 15 (Sat) TBA Home Memphis Greenville, N.C. (Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium)
Oct 22 (Sat) TBA Home UCF Greenville, N.C. (Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium)
Oct 29 (Sat) TBA Away BYU Provo, Utah
Nov 11 (Fri) TBA Away Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio
Nov 19 (Sat) TBA Home Houston Greenville, N.C. (Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium)
Nov 26 (Sat) TBA Away Temple Philadelphia, Pa.
Dec 3 (Sat) TBA Home American Athletic Conference TBD
Of the seven games on Bagwell Field inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, four will be played in succession during the month of September to open the campaign. On the flipside, the Pirates will play five of their last eight (and three of their last four) contests on the road, a segment that also includes a Week 10 bye on Nov. 5.
For the third-straight season and fifth time in its nine-year membership, the Pirates will open AAC play at home by welcoming Navy to Greenville on Sept. 24. Complementing ECU’s eight league matchups are four previously announced non-conference meetings against NC State (Sept. 3), Old Dominion (Sept. 10), Campbell (Sept.17) and at BYU (Oct. 29).
“We’re really excited for the opportunity to compete in front of Pirate Nation at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on at least seven occasions,” fourth-year ECU Head Coach Mike Houston said. “The expectations and goals for our program keep climbing, and that’s the way it should be. Obviously, there will be a lot of excitement out of the gate with this highly competitive schedule, and from an American Conference standpoint, we embrace the challenge it presents and welcome the exposure it offers.”
East Carolina posted a 7-5 overall mark, stood tied for third in the AAC with a 5-3 record and earned postseason eligibility – the program’s first since the 2014 campaign – with an invitation to the Military Bowl under Houston’s leadership in 2021.
Season tickets are on sale now with packages starting as low as $125 each. The priority deadline to order is April 4. Purchases may be made via ECU’s Online Ticket Center or by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at (252) 737-4500.
The Pirates will open spring drills March 15 and conclude work with the annual Purple-Gold Spring Game inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on April 9.
2022 SCHEDULE NOTABLES
ECU’s 2022 opponents posted a combined 79-71 (.527) record in 2021. The Pirates four non-conference foes were 28-21 (.571), while the eight AAC squads tallied a collective 51-50 (.505) mark). Three programs had 10 or more wins – Cincinnati (13), Houston (12) and BYU (10).
Seven Bowl Teams
In all, ECU’s slate features contests against seven teams which qualified for bowl games a year ago. In addition to NC State (San Diego County Credit Union Holiday), Old Dominion (Myrtle Beach) and BYU (Radiance Technologies Independence), Memphis (EasyPost Hawai’i), UCF (Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla), Cincinnati (CFP Semifinal/Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic) and Houston (Ticketsmarter Birmingham) each were eligible for FBS postseason appearances last season. Of East Carolina’s seven home games, five will be against 2021 bowl qualifiers.
In The Final Polls
Four of the Pirates’ 2022 FBS opponents were ranked in college football’s two major polls (Associated Press, USA Today/AFCA Coaches) to end the 2021 season – Cincinnati (4/4), Houston (17/17), BYU (19/22) and NC State (20/19).
ACC, Wolfpack Return To Schedule
After a two-year hiatus (2020-2021), an Atlantic Coast Conference member will return to East Carolina’s schedule when NC State visits Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for the season opener Sept. 3. The Pirates had faced an ACC opponent for 24-straight years, beginning in 1996 through 2019 when the Wolfpack and ECU met at Carter-Finley Stadium in Mike Houston’s ECU debut. In all, East Carolina has won three of the last five meetings vs. NC State and has captured three of four all-time matchups in Greenville.
It’s Been 81 Years
While four consecutive home games to open a season isn’t completely unprecedented at ECU, it is obviously a rare occurrence. In fact, the Pirates’ 2022 slate will mark the first time since 1941 that East Carolina will enjoy a four-game homestand to begin a campaign. The ’41 Pirates raced out to a 4-0 start by defeating Tusculum, Newport News Apprentice, Western Carolina and Newport Navy in Greenville by a combined score of 119-6 before winning three road games on the way to a perfect 7-0 season under coach John Christenbury – the program’s only undefeated team to date. East Carolina has started a season with three-straight home dates on four occasions – 1958, 1960, 1974 and 2013.
Homecoming, Other Designations
In addition to celebrating Homecoming, East Carolina will also welcome letterwinners and honor its newest Hall of Fame class when East Carolina hosts Memphis on Oct. 15. Other game-day designations, in chronological order, include Pirate Club Day (NC State/Sept. 3), Band Day (Old Dominion/Sept. 10), Family Weekend (Campbell/Sept. 17), Military Appreciation Day (Navy/Sept. 24), Boneyard Day (UCF/Oct. 22) and Senior Day (Houston/Nov. 19).
Colors Of The Day
ECU will “Paint It Gold” against the Camels, “Paint It Purple” versus the Tigers and “Paint It Black” when the Knights visit Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Additionally, the Pirates will “Stripeout DFS” for the season opener against the Wolfpack.
A Late Well-Times Bye Week
The Pirates’ open date is set for Nov. 5, which is Week 10 of the college football season. The bye follows East Carolina’s longest road trip of the campaign against BYU in Provo, Utah and precedes key successive American Conference tilts against projected league favorites Cincinnati and Houston – programs which combined for a 25-3 overall record and a perfect 16-0 AAC mark a year ago.
For the third consecutive season (and fourth time in the last five years), ECU will face Cincinnati on a Friday – Nov. 11 in 2022. The Pirates are 14-14 in non-Saturday road games since 2000.
Finishing League Play On The Road
For the first time since 2018, East Carolina will close out AAC play on the road when it visits Temple at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Nov. 26. The Pirates have completed league action at home in each of Mike Houston’s first three years at ECU – Tulsa/2019, SMU/2020 and Cincinnati/2021.
American Athletic Conference Championship
The American Conference will conduct its championship game on Dec. 3. The title clash will be conducted on the home field of the highest-seeded team (by order of its regular season finish).
Kickoff Times & Television Picks
Kickoff times and television selections for the first three weeks of the season likely will be announced in June, while the remainder will be through the traditional 12-day/6-day process.