ECU football’s recent history and past tragic event with Marshall play a part in their home opener

Marshall plays at ECU Saturday at 4 PM
ECU football’s recent history and past tragic event with Marshall play a part in their home opener
Published: Sep. 7, 2023 at 5:07 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - It’s home opening weekend for the ECU football team as they welcome Marshall to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium at 4 PM on Saturday.

The history between the two programs is rich both from decades ago and recent seasons. Even lineman Trent Holler ties the teams together having transferred from ECU to Marshall.

“Our coaches have been honing in on what the environment is, and obviously, I have seen it first-hand since I played there,” says Marshall Offensive Lineman and former ECU player Trent Holler, “So I’ve just been trying to tell the guys what it is going to be like because it is going to be rocking first game.”

“It’s definitelW great seeing him again. But it would also be great punishing him and things like that,” says ECU linebacker Teylor Jackson, “It will be a great time playing against him.”

The history between the schools is tied together. The Pirates have never lost to the Thundering Herd in Greenville a perfect 7-0. ECU leads the all-time series 11-5.

The last time the two teams met was 2021. ECU came back from three scores down in the 4th quarter with 21 unanswered points to win at Marshall.

“We want our lick back for sure from the last game. We were up 17 and they ended up coming back and beating us,” says Marshall defensive lineman Owen Porter, “Trent talks about it all the time. But uh yeah… we got a little pep in our step to get it back this time.”

There is always much surrounding this game due to its history. The two schools are forever tied together after the fatal plane crash following their game at ECU in the 1970 season that killed 75 people, coaches, players, staff members from Marshall, and the flight crew.

“We kind of gave a little prelude when we named Coach Red our honorary captain. We kind of explained the situation about this week. I wanted to make sure we handled that separately from game week,” says Marshall Head Coach Charles Huff, “Because I wanted those guys to accept that, hear that, they gave coach Red a round of applause, and he spoke to the team for a little bit.”

“The rivalry between the two schools is always going to be linked closely. I think it adds a lot of emotion to everything,” says ECU Head Coach Mike Houston, “This game is always going to be one that is highly competitive. Has a lot of things around it that add to it. I think this is one of those games you hope the two universities find a way to continue moving forward.”