GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina has completed its 2012 non-conference football schedule by adding a home game against Appalachian State according to an announcement by ECU Director of Athletics Terry Holland on Wednesday.
The contest, which is currently set for September 8 in Greenville, will renew an in-state football rivalry that covers 30 games in a span of 80 years. The Mountaineers own a 19-11 lead in a series that dates back to 1932, but the two programs have met only once since 1979 - a 29-24 Pirate victory at a sold-out Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Sept. 5, 2009.
"The revival of the East Carolina-Appalachian State football rivalry has already produced one exciting game," Holland said. "I know both institutions are looking forward to this second chapter with great anticipation."
Appalachian State, winner of three consecutive Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) national championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007 under coach Jerry Moore, has also posted six 10-win seasons in the last seven years, captured six of the last seven Southern Conference titles and made seven-straight postseason appearances. The Mountaineers' 79 victories since 2005 ranks first at the FCS level and stands second among all Division I programs, trailing only Boise State's total of 81.
The contest against the Pirates will also continue a 34-year streak of consecutive Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponents on ASU schedules that recently have featured meetings against Michigan (2007), LSU (2008), East Carolina (2009), Florida (2010) and Virginia Tech (2011).
The Pirates have recorded an all-time 41-2 record against FCS programs since the classification was established in 1978, but have only faced six since 1990 - UCF ('91, '93), East Tennessee State ('96), Chattanooga ('98), William & Mary ('01) and Appalachian State ('09).
In addition to the Mountaineers, East Carolina's 2012 non-conference slate features a home game against Navy and road dates at North Carolina and South Carolina. The Pirates' annual Conference USA schedule is traditionally released by the league office in early spring.
ECU, which compiled a 5-7 mark in 2011 and made has bowl appearances in five of the last six seasons, is expected to return 15 of 22 positional starters for third-year head coach Ruffin McNeill when drills open March 19. Appalachian State recently completed an 8-4 campaign that concluded with a 34-12 loss to Maine in the second round of the FCS playoffs.