East Carolina's 2008 regular season finale against UTEP, originally scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 29 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, has been moved up to a Friday afternoon kickoff in order to accommodate a live CBS College Sports national television broadcast according to an announcement from Conference USA Tuesday.
ECU, network and league officials have established a 1:00 p.m. (ET) kickoff time in order to work cooperatively with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association's playoff schedule during the Thanksgiving Weekend.
"We are very appreciative of East Carolina University keeping us informed every step of the way as discussions about its football scheduling continued," Charlie Adams, NCHSA Executive Director, said. "This in no way will conflict with any of our state football playoff games, which will be played in their traditional Friday night time slots. As a result, sports fans across the state should have an opportunity to watch the Pirates in the afternoon and then go and support their local high school football program later that night. Again, we are grateful for the relationship we have with ECU and its concern for our programs."
The ECU-UTEP contest is one of three CBS College Sports broadcasts that will feature the Pirates at home this season, joining the Houston (Sept. 27/3:30 p.m.) and Marshall (Nov. 8/3:30 p.m.) games. East Carolina's complete television schedule, including regional and local coverage, will be released at a later date when finalized.
“We appreciate and certainly value our relationship with the high school programs in the state, especially with Charlie Adams and his leadership to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association,” said ECU Director of Athletics Terry Holland. “If last season’s thrilling game with UTEP is any indication, I’d like to think that this year’s matchup has the potential to be equally as attractive and exciting, if not more.”
The Pirates turned in their highest win total since 2000 last season with an 8-5 record and have now posted back-to-back winning campaigns for the first time since 1999-2000. East Carolina capped the year with a 41-38 triumph over No. 22 Boise State at the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl on Dec. 23 - the program's first bowl victory in seven years.