The kickoff time for East Carolina's season-opening non-conference contest against Virginia Tech, scheduled for September 1 at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, has been set for 12 noon (EDT) to accommodate a live ESPN2 national television broadcast according to an announcement from the network Monday morning.
The Pirates will open Skip Holtz' third season at the helm of the East
Carolina program by renewing a 12-game series with the Hokies that began in 1956. The meeting against Virginia Tech, which wrapped up the 2006 season with a No. 18 national rank and an appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, will be the first since a 45-28 Hokie win at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium Sept. 7, 2000. In all, ECU won four of the first seven matchups before Virginia Tech rolled off five straight.
East Carolina posted a 7-6 overall record last year, which marked the
Pirates' highest win total since an 8-4 ledger in 2000. In addition, ECU
made its first bowl appearance since 2001 when it accepted an invite to
the Papajohns.com Bowl in Birmingham, Ala. The Pirates closed the season by winning five of its last seven games and finished league play with a 5-3 record to earn a second-place standing in C-USA's East Division.
The ESPN2 telecast will be the third for East Carolina in its last 11
games, dating back to No. 4 West Virginia's visit to Greenville on Sept.
23 and the Pirates' bowl clash against USF last December.
Other ESPN selections announced Monday involving Conference USA teams include Marshall at Florida (ESPNU, Sept. 1/12 noon), UCF at N.C. State (ESPN360, Sept. 1/6 p.m.) and UAB at Florida State (ESPNU, Sept. 8/5 p.m.).