East Carolina, Appalachian State agree to four-year football series
East Carolina and Appalachian State, two programs which share a competitive rivalry dating back to its roots in the Southern Conference, have agreed to a four-year home-and-home football series in 2021, 2024, 2025 and 2026 according to a joint announcement by both institutions Tuesday.
The Mountaineers will host the Pirates at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium on Sept. 4, 2021 to renew a 31-game series that originated in 1932. The arrangement also features contests on Bagwell Field inside ECU's Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Sept. 14, 2024 and Sept. 5, 2026, along with a meeting at ASU's Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone on Sept. 6, 2025.
Appalachian State owns a 19-12 lead in the series, but the two programs have met only twice since 1979. East Carolina used 29-24 and 35-13 victories in Greenville to open the 2009 and 2012 campaigns, respectively, to extend its current win streak to six straight against the Mountaineers.
"Both football programs have a rich history of success and outstanding fan support," ECU Director of Athletics Jeff Compher said. "I am especially excited for our future football student-athletes who will have an opportunity to play in such an exceptional NFL venue as Bank of America Stadium. We are grateful to Doug Gillen and our colleagues at Appalachian for working together in creating this four-game series."
Compher also noted the benefit to thousands of Pirate alums and fans who reside in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, a region which houses a Pirate Club office and has been emphasized as a major recruiting area for ECU.
The Pirates have won three of five contests played at Bank of America Stadium, beginning with a 50-29 victory over NC State in 1996. East Carolina has averaged 57,178 fans per game when playing in Charlotte, including a then-state college record crowd of 72,169 when the Pirates knocked off No. 17 Virginia Tech in 2008.
ECU, an American Athletic Conference member which compiled a 3-9 mark in 2016 under first-year coach Scottie Montgomery, has made bowl appearances in eight of the last 11 seasons. ASU competes in the Sun Belt Conference and owns a combined two-year ledger of 21-5 with back-to-back Raycom Media Camellia Bowl victories in 2015 (11-2) and 2016 (10-3).
"Reviving the in-state rivalry between East Carolina and Appalachian State will enhance the proud history and tradition both programs already share," Montgomery said. "The Pirates and Mountaineers each have a passionate and unique bond with its football fan base that is unmatched across this entire state."