GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina will open its 2021 home schedule hosting Southeastern Conference member South Carolina Saturday at noon at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Saturday’s matchup will mark the first SEC opponent for the Pirates since dropping a 20-15 road tilt against the Gamecocks on Sept. 17, 2016 in Williams-Brice Stadium. The last time ECU hosted an SEC member was on Sept. 20, 1997 falling to South Carolina 26-0 in front of 38,902 fans.
ECU will continue its four-game non-league slate next week traveling to former Conference USA opponent Marshall (Sept. 18) before welcoming in Charleston Southern (Sept. 25).
MORE ON SATURDAY’S GAME
EAST CAROLINA RECORDS AND STREAKS
Has averaged 409.3 total yards per game in its last six outings entering Saturday …
Has forced at least one turnover in nine straight games (and in 20 of the last 21) …
Has netted five interceptions in the last three games …
Has tallied a total of 50.0 TLFs and 15.0 sacks in its last eight games (19.0/3.0 in last 3) …
Has won 41 of the last 47 games when leading at the half (14-3 since 2015) …
Has won six of the last nine home openers …
South Carolina leads 14-5 … The Gamecocks have won the last four meetings dating back to 2011 and has won six of the last 11 matchups … Prior to South Carolina’s recent run, the Pirates enjoyed success in the 1990s, capturing five of seven contests in a span from 1991 to 1999 … After ECU’s last win, a 21-3 decision on Sept. 18, 1999, the Pirates’ stay in Columbia lasted an additional week because of the flooding associated with Hurricane Floyd in the Greenville area … The Pirates were extended workout privileges on the South Carolina campus in preparation for its next game against Miami (Fla.) – a contest ECU won 27-23 in Raleigh.
MIKE HOUSTON AGAINST THE GAMECOCKS (1-0)
Saturday’s matchup against the Gamecocks will be ECU Head Coach Mike Houston’s second meeting against South Carolina. As the head coach at The Citadel in 2015, Houston’s team came away with a 23-22 win in Columbia.
SHANE BEAMER AGAINST THE PIRATES (2-2)
While Shane Beamer has never faced East Carolina as a head coach (until Saturday), he has compiled a 2-2 mark against the Pirates as a staff assistant during his 22-year coaching career.
ANALYZING THE 2021 OVERALL SCHEDULE
ECU’s 2021 opponents posted a combined 55-54 (.505) record in 2020 … The Pirates’ four non-conference foes were a collective 18-14 (.563), while the eight AAC squads tallied a 37-40 (.481) mark … Four programs had seven (7) or more wins – Cincinnati (9-1), Appalachian State (9-3), Memphis (8-3) and Marshall (7-3).
WHO WENT BOWLING … In all, ECU’s current slate features contests against seven teams that were invited to bowl games in 2020 – Appalachian State (Myrtle Beach), South Carolina (Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla), Marshall (Camellia), Cincinnati (Chick-fil-A Peach), Tulane (Famous Idaho Potato), UCF (RoofClaim.com Boca Raton), Houston (New Mexico) and Memphis (Cheribundi Boca Raton) … Five of the six Pirates’ road games are against 2020 bowl qualifiers.
IN THE FINAL POLLS … Only one of ECU’s 2021 opponents was ranked in college football’s two major polls (Associated Press/USA Today Amway Coaches) to end the 2020 season – league champion Cincinnati (8/8). However, two Pirates’ AAC opponents from 2020 also received season-ending votes (Tulsa, SMU)