ECU, Michigan to meet in football in 2023

A Michigan cheerleader carries a M flag before a full house at Michgan Stadium this season (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

East Carolina and Michigan have agreed on a single-game contract for the Pirates and Wolverines to play at Michigan Stadium on Sept. 2, 2023, according to a joint announcement by both institutions Friday.

 The meeting will mark ECU’s first visit to Ann Arbor and the Pirates’ first regular season contest against a Big Ten Conference opponent since facing Illinois in 1995.

 “We are excited to add a school of Michigan’s caliber to our schedule,” East Carolina Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert said. “Coach (Mike) Houston and his staff are committed to facing high-quality non-conference opponents as we continue to rejuvenate our football program and showcase our brand across the country.

 “This is a great opportunity to take our program to Ann Arbor and play in one of the country’s best college football atmospheres. We want to find the delicate balance between playing guarantee games while also providing a competitive home schedule for our fans. We will continue to evaluate our future football schedules and make the necessary adjustments as we move forward.”

 The contest against Michigan, which includes a guarantee of $1.8 million, will maintain the continuity of Power 5 Conference opponents on East Carolina’s future schedules that includes games against South Carolina (2020/road, 2021/home), NC State (2022/home, 2025/road, 2028/home), West Virginia (2026/home) and Wake Forest (2027/home, 2028/away).

 East Carolina also formally confirmed 2018 agreements with Norfolk State and Campbell to visit Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in 2020 and 2022, respectively, while announcing the recent addition of Charleston Southern to its 2021 home schedule.