In addition, East Carolina released tentative playing dates for its other three non-conference contests this fall. After meeting the Eagles in the season opener, the Pirates will travel to South Carolina and Virginia Tech on Sept. 6 and Sept. 13, respectively, before returning home to host North Carolina a week later on Sept. 20. However, those dates remain subject to change pending future television programming needs.
The single-game contract with N.C. Central represents the first meeting between the two programs, but follows earlier visits by then-FCS member Appalachian State in 2009 and 2012, which drew a combined attendance of over 92,000 to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
The Eagles, who opened the 2013 campaign at ACC Coastal Division champion Duke, posted a 5-7 overall record and 3-5 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference ledger last fall. The contest in Greenville will also mark the debut of first-year head coach Jerry Mack, who was appointed to the lead the NCCU program on Dec. 19.
East Carolina, which compiled a 10-3 record and made its seventh bowl appearance in the last eight years in 2013, will open play in the American Athletic Conference this season after a 17-year membership in Conference USA. The Pirates' first AAC schedule will be released by the league at a later date.