ECU announces game against William & Mary to fill 2019 football schedule

The game at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium will replace a matchup against Virginia Tech cancelled by the Hokies

A statue of Pee Dee the Pirate watches over ECU's Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (Brett Friedlander/North State Journal)

  East Carolina filled the opening on its 2019 football schedule Wednesday by announcing it will play William & Mary at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on September 21.

  The game replaces a previously scheduled date against Virginia Tech that was cancelled by the Hokies in retaliation of the Pirates’ decision to ride out Hurricane Florence in Florida last fall rather than playing in Blacksburg.

  “One of our top priorities over the past month has been to finalize our 2019 schedule and we accomplished that today by adding a sixth home game with William & Mary,” ECU athletic director Jon Gilbert said. “We had talks with several FCS and FBS schools over the past month about scheduling a game.

  “We began discussions with William & Mary’s administration earlier this month about partnering together and we are excited to have the Tribe visit Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium this September.”

  The Tribe was 4-6 last season (3-4 in the Colonial Athletic Association). ECU was 3-9 (1-7 in the American Athletic Conference). Both teams will be led by new head coaches in 2019, with Mike Houston taking over for Scottie Montgomery with the Pirates and former Virginia coach Mike London leading William & Mary.

  This will be the 18th meeting between the former Southern Conference rivals, with the Pirates holding a 12-4-1 advantage in the series. London has won all three of his previous games against the Tribe, all of which came during his tenure at James Madison.

  In addition to the newly scheduled game, ECU’s 2019 nonconference schedule also includes dates at NC State on August 31, at home against Gardner-Webb on Sept. 7 and at Old Dominion on Sept. 28.