Tuesday, September 5, 2017

ECU Makes Trek to Morgantown in Week 2

ECU will open its 2017 road schedule when the Pirates travel to Morgantown Saturday to meet West Virginia at Milan Puskar Stadium. The tilt against the Mountaineers will also represent the second of four non-league games on ECU’s slate, following a 34-14 setback against defending FCS champion James Madison last week and preceding home meetings with Virginia Tech (Sept. 16) and BYU (Oct. 21). The Pirates will also try to improve to 1-1 for the fourth time in the last six seasons and avoid their first 0-2 start since 2011.

Saturday’s meeting against West Virginia will be ECU Head Coach Scottie Montgomery’s first-ever matchup against the Mountaineers - both as a player, assistant coach or head coach. The last time Duke and WVU faced off was in 1985, well before Montgomery’s playing (1996-99) and coaching days (2006-09, 2013-15) with the Blue Devils.

While Dana Holgorsen has never faced the Pirates as a head coach, he did square off against ECU on a combined three occasions as a member of the Texas Tech and Houston staffs. Two of the three meetings were post-season encounters in which the Pirates recorded high-scoring victories: the 2000 Galleryfurniture.com Bowl (Astrodome) and 2009 C-USA Championship Game (Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium).

ECU will try to snap a three-game road opener losing streak when it travels to West Virginia Saturday. After defeating North Carolina 55-31 in 2013, the Pirates followed by falling to South Carolina (2014), Florida (2015) and the Gamecocks again (2016) in successive “away” game lid-lifters. Since 2000, ECU is 4-12 in road openers.

ECU featured 11 first-time starters in its lineup against James Madison Saturday – four on the offensive side of the ball (LT D’Ante Smith, LG Cortez Herrin, RG Austin Lee, RB Derrell Scott), six more on defense (DT Tyree Owens, DE Gaelin Elmore, ILB Ray Tillman, CB Travis Phillips, FS Korrin Wiggins, PIR Tim Irvin) and one on special teams (P Austin Barnes).

Kickoff is set for noon.