ECU announces 2016 football schedule
Published 12:55 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2016
East Carolina’s third campaign in the American Athletic Conference will officially begin when it welcomes UCF to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Oct. 1, according to a release of 2016 schedules by the AAC Tuesday.
The Pirates’ eight-game league slate follows previously-announced non-conference home contests against Western Carolina (Sept. 3) and NC State (Sept. 10), along with road matchups at South Carolina (Sept. 17) and Virginia Tech (Sept. 24).
The American and its primary television partner, ESPN, also tabbed an ECU home game among its early broadcast selections with a Thursday night battle against Navy on Oct. 13. The Midshipmen were co-champions of the AAC’s West Division and stood 18th in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll last season.
“Embracing the opportunity to keep moving our program forward and play at the highest level possible should be something that is encouraged,” first-year East Carolina Head Coach Scottie Montgomery said. “For us to be in a position to remain focused on meeting and exceeding our goals, it is important to compete on a national stage against the SEC, ACC, and now The American, every week.”
After opening conference play at home against the Knights, ECU will travel to USF on Oct. 8 for a clash versus the Bulls before meeting Navy five days later. A road contest at Cincinnati and a home date against Connecticut follows on Oct. 22 and Oct. 29, respectively. The latter tilt against Huskies also highlights the school’s game-day designation selections as the annual Homecoming event.
The Pirates will close out the regular season with a pair of road games and one home contest in the month of November. East Carolina visits Tulsa (Nov. 5) and hosts SMU (Nov. 12) on successive Saturdays, and then after a bye week, will face off against defending East Division champion Temple in Philadelphia on Nov. 26.
The aforementioned bye, scheduled for Nov. 19, will end a run of 11 consecutive weeks of action for ECU.
The American Conference will conduct its championship game on Dec. 3. The title duel, which pits the winners of the East and West Divisions on the home field of the highest-seeded team, will be broadcast on either ABC or ESPN.
In all, ECU’s schedule features contests against eight bowl qualifiers from 2015. In addition to Navy (Military Bowl), NC State (Belk), Virginia Tech (Independence), Tulsa (Independence), USF (Miami Beach), Cincinnati (Hawai’i), Connecticut (St. Petersburg) and Temple (Boca Raton) all made post-season appearances last year.
The meeting in Columbia versus the Gamecocks will mark ECU’s sixth matchup against a Southeastern Conference opponent since 2011, while the contest against the Hokies in Blacksburg represents the 21st consecutive year the Pirates have faced off against at least one Atlantic Conference Coast foe in a season.
East Carolina recorded a 5-7 overall mark and stood fifth in the American Athletic Conference’s East Division at 3-5 in 2015. The Pirates have qualified for eight bowl appearances in the last 10 years and three in the last four seasons.
Season tickets are on sale now with packages starting as low as $150 each. The priority deadline to order is April 1. Purchases may be made via ECU’s Online Ticket Center or by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at (252) 737-4500.
2016 ECU FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Sept. 3 – WESTERN CAROLINA (PC/EA)
Sept. 10 – NC STATE (HOF/#StripeDFS)
Sept. 17 – at South Carolina
Sept. 24 – at Virginia Tech
Oct. 1 – *UCF (FW/Paint It Purple)
Oct. 8 – *at USF
Oct. 13 – *NAVY (Paint It Black) – ESPN
Oct. 22 – *at Cincinnati
Oct. 29 – *CONNECTICUT (HC/Paint It Gold)
Nov. 5 – *at Tulsa
Nov. 12 – *SMU (MIL/SD)
Nov. 26 – *at Temple
Dec. 3 – AAC Championship Game (highest-seed campus site) – ABC/ESPN
Home games in ALL CAPS; *American Athletics Conference game; PC-Pirate Club Weekend, EA-ECU Employee Appreciation Day, HOF-Hall of Fame/Letterwinners Day, FW-Family Weekend, HC-Homecoming, MIL-Military Appreciation Day, SD-Senior Day; Dates and designations subject to change pending finalization of television scheduling