The East Carolina University Pirates (commonly known as ECU) and the North Carolina State University Wolf Pack (commonly known as North Carolina State) have a historic rivalry in college football dating back to decades. The first time these two neighboring soccer programs faced each other was on October 10, 1970. The game was held in Raleigh, North Carolina and the local North Carolina State University team won with a final score of 23-6.
Since the inaugural contest between these nearby schools was played in 1970, the rivalry game location has predominantly shifted from the local ECU field in Greenville, North Carolina to the local NC State football stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina. . When the game is played on the ECU campus, players compete in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, which can host a crowd of 50,000 screaming fans. In contrast, when the football game between these two institutions of higher learning is played on the North Carolina state campus in Raleigh, the game is held at Carter-Finley Stadium, which seats 57,583 comfortably. .
Much of the anticipation surrounding this game between non-conference rivals stems from the fact that these two schools are roughly 75 miles apart. A distance of only 75 miles is, for all intents and purposes, a neighboring school by the standards of a large college campus. The fact that students from either school can jump into their cars and be on the opposite campus in less than an hour and a half is alone enough ingredient to build a sustainable rivalry.
Due to the proximity of these two colleges, many students from both schools have friends who went to high school with and now attend the rival college. These folks mark this game on their calendars as a date to catch up with old friends, as well as some quality college football.
An interesting dynamic of this rivalry is that these two college football programs meet at different conferences. East Carolina University plays in Conference USA, which ranks the University of Houston and the University of Central Florida among its most competitive soccer programs. North Carolina State University, on the other hand, is a proud member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which counts the University of Miami and the State of Florida as two of its strongest soccer programs.
East Carolina and NC State have met a total of 26 times. Of those 26 cases, the games were played twice at neutral sites (in 1996 and 2004) and one meeting was actually at a bowling alley (Peach Bowl in 1992). In the 26 North Carolina state contests, the series leads the series by a count of 26-10.