East Carolina–NC State rivalry

East Carolina–NC State rivalry
Sports Football, baseball, others
Originated 1970

The East Carolina–NC State rivalry is a rivalry between East Carolina University and North Carolina State University, both of which are located in North Carolina. The intensity of the rivalry is driven by the proximity (both are UNC system schools and are only 83 miles apart via U.S. Highway 264) and the size of the two schools (NC State is the largest university in the state and East Carolina is the second largest).

East Carolina was founded in 1907 as a normal school. It became a four-year institution in 1920 and was renamed East Carolina Teachers College. It then became East Carolina College in 1951 and East Carolina University in 1967. East Carolina joined the UNC System in 1972.

North Carolina State was founded in 1887 as a land-grant college. Its original name was North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. In 1918, it changed its name to North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering. In 1931, the school moved to under the Consolidated University of North Carolina and was renamed North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering of the University of North Carolina. It once again was renamed North Carolina State of the University of North Carolina at Raleigh in 1963 and received its current name in 1965.


East Carolina–N.C. State rivalry
Sport Football
First meeting October 10, 1970
NC State 23, East Carolina 6
Latest meeting September 10, 2016
East Carolina 33, NC State 30
Next meeting 2019
Trophy Victory Barrel
Meetings total 28
All-time series NC State leads, 16–13 (.551)
Largest victory NC State, 57–8 (September 8, 1973)
Longest win streak NC State, 5 (1978–1982)
Current win streak East Carolina, 3 (2010–present)

The most prominent sport in the rivalry is football. The two teams began competing against each other in 1970. The football series between the two teams was suspended in 1987. Jim Valvano terminated NC State’s scheduling of East Carolina after Pirate fans tore down goal posts and the playing surface at Carter–Finley in 1987. NC State’s athletics administration had publicly warned ECU and Pirate fans after two consecutive years of minor vandalisms to the stadium. The schools would not meet again until the 1992 Peach Bowl. In 1996, the two schools met in Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium rather than on either school's home field. In 1997, the North Carolina Legislature proposed a bill demanding that UNC–CH and N.C. State must play East Carolina on an annual basis. This would officially revive the series between East Carolina and N.C. State.[1]

East Carolina and NC State have met on the football field 29 times, with 22 of those games played in Carter–Finley Stadium, 4 in Dowdy–Ficklen Stadium, and 3 in neutral venues. The highest profile game was played in the 1992 Peach Bowl, with 59,322 fans in attendance, this game would officially go on record as the largest attendance at the time for a game between two North Carolina college football teams.[2]

NC State leads the all-time series, with 16 wins to East Carolina's 13 wins.[3]

Victory Barrel

In 2007 the Student Government Associations of both North Carolina State University and East Carolina University in a cooperative agreement began awarding the ‘Victory Barrel’ to the game winner. The outer face of the barrel is affixed with engraved colored plates denoting the year, final score, and winner of each contest dating back to 1970.

Football game results

East Carolina victoriesNC State victories
1 October 10, 1970 Raleigh, NC NC State 23–6
2 October 23, 1971 Raleigh, NC East Carolina 31–15
3 October 21, 1972 Raleigh, NC NC State 38–16
4 September 8, 1973 Raleigh, NC NC State 57–8
5 October 5, 1974 Raleigh, NC NC State 24–20
6 September 6, 1975 Raleigh, NC NC State 26–3
7 September 18, 1976 Raleigh, NC East Carolina 23–14
8 September 3, 1977 Raleigh, NC East Carolina 28–23
9 September 9, 1978 Raleigh, NC NC State 29–13
10 September 8, 1979 Raleigh, NC NC State 34–20
11 November 11, 1980 Raleigh, NC NC State 36–14
12 September 19, 1981 Raleigh, NC NC State 31–10
13 September 11, 1982 Raleigh, NC NC State 33–26
14 September 10, 1983 Raleigh, NC East Carolina 22–16
15 September 29, 1984 Raleigh, NC NC State 31–22
16 September 7, 1985 Raleigh, NC East Carolina 33–14
17 September 6, 1986 Raleigh, NC NC State 38–10
18 September 5, 1987 Raleigh, NC East Carolina 32–14
19 January 1, 1992 Atlanta, GA East Carolina 37–34
20 November 30, 1996 Charlotte, NC East Carolina 50–29
21 November 22, 1997 Raleigh, NC NC State 37–24
22 November 20, 1999 Greenville, NC East Carolina 23–6
23 November 27, 2004 Charlotte, NC NC State 52–14
24 November 25, 2006 Raleigh, NC East Carolina 21–16
25 October 20, 2007 Greenville, NC NC State 34–20
26 September 20, 2008 Raleigh, NC NC State 30–24OT
27 October 16, 2010 Greenville, NC East Carolina 33–27OT
28 November 23, 2013 Raleigh, NC East Carolina 42–28
29 September 10, 2016 Greenville, NC East Carolina 33–30
Series: NC State leads 16–13


East Carolina–N.C. State rivalry
Sport Baseball
First meeting 1966
Latest meeting April 29, 2016
ECU 15, NC State 3
All-time series NC State leads 68–42–0
Largest victory NC State 17, ECU 1
March 15, 1987

Since 1966, the two teams have met a total of 109 times. N.C. State leads the record 68–41–0. The two teams regularly qualify for the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship and games often have implications on the national rankings, as both teams are consistently in the top 30.

Notable games

1968: NCAA District 3 Playoffs
East Carolina entered the NCAA Playoff with an opening win against Florida State and advanced to the next round to face N.C. State where they lost 7–5, giving N.C. State a sweep of the Pirates. This would be the first time that the two schools would meet in the tournament, and the two schools would not meet again in the tournament until 1990.[4] East Carolina was eventually knocked out of the tournament by Florida State. N.C. State would advance to the semi-final round of the 1968 College World Series, only to be eliminated by the eventual national champion USC Trojans.[5]


  1. WRAL.com (1997-11-19). "New Law Allows State-ECU Rivalry to Go On". Capitol Broadcasting Company. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  2. Bethany Bradsher. "Family Feud". East Magazine. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  3. "Holland Issues Scheduling Statement". East Carolina University. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  4. "1990 Men's Division I Baseball Atlantic Regional Game 8 – 1990-05-28". NCAA. Retrieved 2009-09-09.
  5. "NCAA Championship Archive". NCAA. Retrieved 2009-05-23.
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