ECU announces 2021 football schedule

The Pirates open the season against Appalachian State on Thursday, September 2 at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium

ECU Football

 An in-state rivalry at Bank of America Stadium and a home date against an SEC rival highlight East Carolina’s challenging 2021 football schedule, announced by the school on Thursday.

The Pirates, looking to build on the momentum of two straight wins to finish their abbreviated 2020 season, will begin coach Mike Houston’s third year against App State in a neutral site game in Charlotte on Thursday, September 2.

While this will be the 31st meeting between ECU and the Mountaineers dating back 89 years, it will mark only the third time they’ve played since 1979.

A week later, on Saturday, September 11, South Carolina will visit Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in its second game under new coach Shane Beamer.

The Pirates’ other two nonconference games are at Marshall on September 18 and home against Charleston Southern on Sepember 25.

ECU will also open American Athletic Conference play at home for the second straight year when it takes on Tulane October 2. Its other home games are against South Florida on either Thursday, October 28 or Saturday, October 30, Temple on either November 4 or 6 and defending league champion Cincinnati on Nov 26 or 27. 

The Pirates’ AAC road schedule includes trips to Central Florida on October 9, Houston on October 23, Memphis on November 13 and Navy on November 20.

Of the seven 2020 bowl participants on the schedule, ECU will play five on the road. 

“We welcome the expectations that come with the opportunity this schedule provides,” Houston said in a statement. “It is exciting to start a new season in an NFL venue, having South Carolina at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and the exposure the American Conference and ESPN continue to deliver for our program, university and Pirate Nation. The schedule offers us a chance to compete, challenge and achieve, which are reflective of the goals we have in place.”


Sept. 2 – Appalachian State (Charlotte)


Sept. 18 – at Marshall


Oct. 2 – *TULANE (HC)

Oct. 9 – *at UCF

Oct. 23 – *at Houston

Oct. 28/30 – *USF (PP)

Nov. 4/6 – *TEMPLE (MIL)

Nov. 13 – *at Memphis

Nov. 20 – *at Navy

Nov. 26/27 – *CINCINNATI (SD)

Dec. 4 – AAC Championship Game (highest-seed campus site)

Home games in ALL CAPS; *American Athletics Conference game; PC-Pirate Club Weekend, FW-Family Weekend, PG-Paint It Gold; HC-Homecoming, PP-Paint It Purple, MIL-Military Appreciation Day, SD-Senior Day