The East Carolina Pirates are coming off of an exceptional 2013 season where they were one of the country's most prolific scoring teams, averaging over 40 points per game. The Pirates capped off a great season by winning the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg over the Ohio Bobcats, 37-20. The Pirates are joining the Big East Conference in 2014, and the new kids on the block are sure to have a bull's eye on their back when they start the season in their new conference. Junior quarterback Shane Carden is coming off of an incredible season, throwing for 33 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards. Carden will be back for another season in Greenville and the Pirates are expecting another brilliant season from the quarterback from Houston.
Pirates fans can't wait for their beloved student athletes to take the field at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and their wish will be granted when North Carolina Central Eagles come to Greenville to take on the Pirates on August 30. College football can't start soon enough and when the students are back in school, the football team is ready to get back on the field. The Eagles compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and they would love to start off their 2014 season by stealing one from their cross state foes. North Carolina Central Eagles have one of the best players in the country donning the maroon and gray. Sophomore return specialist Adrian Wilkins led the FBS with 5 special teams' touchdowns, 3 on kick-off returns and 2 on punt returns. His spectacular speed must be seen in person and his exciting play will light up the field. Wilkins led the MEAC in all-purpose yards and he will only get better after his breakout season.
On September 20, the Pirates will welcome another in-state rival to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium when the North Carolina Tar Heels of the ACC's Coastal Division. The Tar Heels finished the season in the middle of the pack in the ACC, but ended the season by winning 6 of their last 7 games including a victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats 39-17 in the Belk Bowl. The Pirates would love to take it to the Tar Heels and the fans in Greenville will be rooting them on all the way.
East Carolina Pirates Football History
The East Carolina Pirates football program dates back to 1932, when the Pirates first took to the field to take on top teams. The Pirates have had some fantastic seasons over the course of their long history, and their fans love to see this team play in person. The team used to call College Stadium home until they moved to their current venue, Bagwell Field, in 1963. The Pirates have played in several conferences over the years, but currently call Conference USA home. The team has notched 8 bowl game victories in 18 tries and looks forward to adding another appearance and another win in that regard. The team has had some great players suit up for the Pirates, and a former Pirate running back has made a name for himself in the NFL, making the Pirate family very proud. Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson is still running circles around defenders in the NFL and is one of the elite backs in the league. Johnson was not a coveted recruit when he came out of high school in Orlando, but he showed his talent and insane speed when he broke out as a senior at East Carolina, rushing for 2,940 all-purpose yards and an incredible 24 touchdowns. He was drafted in the first round by the Titans in 2008 and quickly made a splash, earning NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2009 after rushing for an incredible 2,006 yards. Johnson is one of only seven players in NFL history to break the 2,000 yard milestone. Other notable Pirates who have excelled in the NFL are quarterback David Garrard, quarterback Jeff Blake and defensive end Rod Coleman.
It truly does not get any better than being there in person to experience all that a live college football game has to offer. When the East Carolina Pirates hit the field they're always looking to put on a show for their fans, and you can see the action for yourself this season when you head out to Bagwell Field.
East Carolina Pirates Football Trivia
Can you name the four players who have had their Pirates jerseys retired by the university?
The four beloved players who have had their jersey number retired by East Carolina are placekicker Robert Farris, quarterback Roger Thirft, fullback Norman Swindell and running back James Speight.
East Carolina Pirates Football Fans
If you've never been out to Bagwell Field to see the East Carolina Pirates hit the football field, then perhaps you have not been lucky enough to see the East Carolina fans in action. The Pirates have a proud fan base that loves to come out for home games and show their support for their favorite team.
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