Pirates, fans arrive in Charlotte, anxious to get season started vs. Mountaineers

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (ECU/WNCT) – The day is finally here.

The East Carolina football team will kick off its 2021 season Thursday night at Bank of America Stadium against Appalachian State. It’s been a long time since fans were in the stands for an ECU game, with the coronavirus pandemic putting the world on edge. Despite cases still high around the country, fans will finally get the chance to return to the stadium to enjoy watching the Pirates play.

Hundreds of fans were seen tailgating in Charlotte on Thursday. Many others were on their way to the stadium for the 7:30 p.m. kickoff.

Below is a preview of the game from ECU Sports Information and WNCT.

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East Carolina, which is in search of its first winning and bowl producing campaign since 2014, will open a new season under the direction of third-year head coach Mike Houston.

The Pirates battle in-state and former Southern Conference rival Appalachian State on Thursday in a non-conference matchup at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

ECU will follow the contest against the Mountaineers, which represents the first of four-straight non-league matchups to begin the 2021 slate, by welcoming SEC-member South Carolina (Sept. 11) and Charleston Southern (Sept. 25) to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium while also visiting Marshall in Huntington, W. Va. (Sept. 18).

EAST CAROLINA RECORDS AND STREAKS

  • Has averaged 415.0 total yards per game in its last five outings entering 2021 …
  • Has forced at least one turnover in eight-straight game (and in 19 of the last 20) …
  • Has netted four interceptions in the last two games …
  • Has tallied a total of 43.0 TLFs and 14.0 sacks in its last seven games (12.0/2.0 in last 2) …
  • Has won 41 of the last 46 games when leading at the half (14-3 since 2015) …
  • Has won eight of the last 13 season openers …

THE SERIES
Appalachian State leads 19-12 …. While the Mountaineers have won 19 of 31 games in a near-90-year series that dates back to 1932, the two programs have met only twice since the Pirates posted a 38-21 victory over ASU in Boone on Nov. 3, 1979 … The Mountaineers opened the series with 10 consecutive victories while ECU has won nine of the last 11, including a run of six straight … The Pirates are 9-8 against ASU in Greenville but are just 3-11 in 14 meetings in Boone.

MIKE HOUSTON AGAINST THE MOUNTAINEERS (0-0)
Despite his western North Carolina and Southern Conference roots, Thursday’s matchup against the Mountaineers will be ECU Head Coach Mike Houston’s first-ever meeting against Appalachian State.

SHAWN CLARK AGAINST THE PIRATES (2-0)
While Shawn Clark has never faced East Carolina as a head coach (until Thursday), he has compiled a 2-0 mark against the Pirates as a staff assistant during his 20-year coaching career.

Click here to read more from ECU’s Sports Information about the game. Go to the WNCT.com sports page for more videos and to the WNCT.com ECU page.

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