"The 2018 regular season ended with a 58-3 Wolfpack rout of the Pirates at Carter-Finley Stadium. That was an ECU team with an interim coach, without a quarterback and decimated by injuries.
In short, don’t expect the Pirates to look anything like that version on Aug. 31. ECU made a great hire in new coach Mike Houston, who won a national championship at James Madison in 2016. Houston led the Dukes into Carter-Finley in last season’s opener and nearly knocked off a veteran N.C. State team.
A healthy Holton Ahlers at quarterback will exponentially boost the Pirates’ offense, which ranked No. 112 in rushing offense last season. Ahlers had back-to-back 400-yard passing games in ECU’s most difficult conference matchups last season as a freshman before he got injured in a loss to Cincinnati and missed the N.C. State game.
Doeren has lost two games in September in the past four years. One was at ECU in 2016 (the other was in the 2017 opener against South Carolina). The Pirates had won four of six in the series before last year’s blowout."