ECU looks to pick up first win in home opener

East Carolina's Julius Wood will look to lead the Pirates’ defense against Marshall on Saturday. (Al Goldis / AP Photo)

East Carolina will look to pick up its first win of the season in its home opener at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium when they host Marshall on Saturday. The Pirates are coming off of a 30-3 loss at No. 2 Michigan with their sole points coming off of a final play field goal.

Marshall won its season opener, a 21-17 victory over the University of Albany, and last season upset then-No. 18 Notre Dame in Week 2 in South Bend.

The matchup was originally slated for 2020 to honor the 50th anniversary of the 1970 Marshall plane crash, but the game was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Game

East Carolina vs. Marshall
Saturday, 4 p.m., ESPNU


ECU: 0-1 (0-0 AAC)
Marshall: 1-0 (0-0 Sun Belt)


ECU leads the all-time series 11-5. The most recent matchup between the two teams ended in a 42-38 win for the Pirates in 2021 which also saw ECU erase a 17-point deficit en route to victory.

Players to Watch

ECU defensive back Julius Wood: After J.J. McCarthy and the Wolverines picked apart the Pirates’ defense, throwing for 280 yards and three touchdowns with just four total incompletions, ECU is going to be looking for a much stronger effort for its secondary. Wood is a veteran leader who led the team in total tackles last season, and he’s going to be looking to lead by example.

Marshall quarterback Cam Fancher: Since ECU’s defense didn’t handle the passing game very well last week, Fancher could be an interesting player to watch on Saturday. In the opener, Fancher threw for 268 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 28-for-35 passing.

Odds Marshall -3, over/under 43