East Carolina opens its 2023 college football season with what will be its most daunting task of the year, a visit to No. 2 Michigan. The Pirates, in coach Mike Houston’s fifth season in Greenville, will look to qualify for a third-consecutive bowl game as well as make a splash in the newly expanded American Athletic Conference.
Michigan hasn’t lost at home since 2020 and has won 12 of its last 16 season openers. However, Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh won’t be on the sideline as he serves the first of a three-game suspension.
ECU at Michigan
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Saturday, noon, NBC/Peacock
ECU: 8-5 (4-4 AAC) in 2022
Michigan: 13-1 (9-0 B10) in 2022
This will be the first matchup between the two teams.
Players to Watch
ECU quarterback Mason Garcia: While Houston refused to name a starting quarterback before Saturday, all signs point to the sophomore getting the start in Ann Arbor. Garcia served as longtime ECU quarterback Holton Ahlers’ backup last season, and Houston has raved about his potential. With already big shoes to fill, Garcia’s matchup against the Wolverines will be a true trial by fire.
Michigan running back Blake Corum: Arguably the top returning running back in college football and a Heisman favorite last season before his knee injury against Illinois, Corum is the biggest threat ECU faces. Last season, the senior ran for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns on 247 carries.
Betonline.ag: Michigan -36.5, over/under 52