GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — East Carolina University’s 2023 football schedule includes several familiar foes and a handful of teams the Pirates are playing for the first or second time ever.
The Pirates released their 2023 schedule on Tuesday. Here’s a look at ECU’s all-time series history with each opponent this season.
Sept. 2 at Michigan
The Pirates and Wolverines have never faced off on the football field. On last week’s edition of the WNCT Sports Talk Podcast, ECU head coach Mike Houston talked about the challenge of facing the back-to-back Big Ten champions at The Big House.
“Now, at the end of the day, we’re not going up there to go tour (The Big House),” Houston said. “We’re going up there to knock ’em off. So that’ll be the focus. But certainly, that’s one that I’ll probably take the team to the stadium the day before just to kind of get that out of their system. I’ve done that a couple times at certain places where we’re going into a little bit more of an iconic venue. It’ll be a big one.”
Sept. 9 vs. Marshall
ECU’s home opener will mark the Pirates’ 16th all-time meeting with the Thundering Herd. The Pirates are 10-5 against Marshall, including 7-0 at home. The teams met annually when they both were Conference USA members, but that changed when ECU moved to the American Athletic Conference in 2014.
ECU and Marshall most recently met in 2013, with Marshall winning that game 59-28. In the 2001 Mobile Bowl, ECU and Marshall set the record for most points ever scored in a bowl game (125). Marshall emerged victorious in that double-overtime shootout, 64-61.
The Pirates and Thundering Herd are connected by the tragic 1970 plane crash that killed most of Marshall’s football team. The crash happened as Marshall was returning home from a game at ECU.
Sept. 16 at Appalachian State
Appalachian State has a 20-12 all-time record against ECU, including a 9-8 record in Boone. The most recent meeting was a 33-19 win for the Mountaineers in the 2021 Duke’s Mayo Classic. That snapped ECU’s streak of six straight wins over App State dating back to 1976.
Sept. 23 vs. Gardner-Webb
ECU defeated Gardner-Webb 48-9 in 2019. That was the first meeting between the two programs. The Runnin’ Bulldogs compete in the Big South Conference.
Sept. 30 at Rice
Rice is a newcomer to the AAC. The Owls have split their four meetings with the Pirates, with Rice winning both of its home games to date against ECU (2006 and 2010).
Oct. 12 vs SMU
East Carolina is 5-4 all-time against SMU. In the most recent matchup, ECU defeated SMU 52-38 in 2020 in Greenville. The Pirates are 3-2 at home against the Mustangs.
Oct. 21 vs. Charlotte
Charlotte is another AAC newcomer. This will be ECU’s first matchup with the 49ers.
Oct. 28 at UTSA
In yet another matchup against a new AAC foe, ECU will face the Roadrunners for the first time ever.
Nov. 4 vs Tulane
The Pirates will return home to face a familiar opponent in the Green Wave. The Pirates are 9-2 all-time in home games against Tulane. ECU fell to Tulane on the road last year, 24-9.
Nov. 11 at Florida Atlantic
FAU is preparing for its first season in the AAC. ECU and FAU met once before, in 2013. That resulted in a 31-13 ECU victory.
Nov. 18 at Navy
ECU’s quest for its first-ever home victory against the Midshipmen will have to wait another year. The Pirates are 2-3 on the road at Navy, and the Midshipmen lead the all-time series 8-2. Navy dealt ECU a heartbreaking 23-20 loss in double-overtime last season.
Nov. 24 or 25 vs Tulsa
The all-time series between ECU is 8-8, and 4-4 at either team’s home field. Tulsa has won three in a row against ECU, including a controversial 34-30 victory in 2020.