East Carolina travels to Columbia this week to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium. South Carolina has won the last three meetings in this series, which came in 2011, 2012 and 2014. The two didn't meet in 2013 or 2015.
These two schools enter this matchup on opposite sides of the spectrum. ECU is 2-0 coming off of a 33-30 victory over NC State at home. South Carolina, meanwhile, opened the season with a win over Vanderbilt, but got beat badly by Mississippi State, 27-14, in a game that was 24-7 through the third quarter.
South Carolina enters this one as a 6-point favorite, but this should be a big test for Will Muschamp's defense. New ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery has inherited a talented offensive unit, one that was recruited by former head coach Ruffin McNeill. The Pirates offense is led by senior quarterback Philip Nelson, who has thrown six touchdowns and 695 yards in two games.
How to watch, stream and listen
TV: 4 p.m. ET, SEC Network. Dave Neal has the play-by-play with Matt Stinchcomb handling the color commentary and Olivia Harlan working the sidelines.
Online streaming: Saturday's game can be streamed via WatchESPN.
Spread: South Carolina is a 6-point favorite, currently.
Make friends: Get to SB Nation’s team blog chat for this game at Garnet & Black Attack for South Carolina fans.
Three big things to know
1. South Carolina's offense struggles in the first half. Like so many of Muschamp's Florida teams, the Gamecocks are a second-half team, especially on offense. Against both Vanderbilt and Mississippi State, they've outscored their opponents by 27-3 margins in the second halves of games thus far. The problem is that they haven't been able to score in the first half, on the other hand, as they've been outscored 34-0 combined in the first two quarters. If ECU gets up early and the trend continues, 30 minutes may not be enough time for the Gamecocks' offense.
2. ECU boasts a balanced, high-scoring offense. Currently, the Pirates are averaging 42 points per game, along with over 200 passing and rushing yards each. The key for South Carolina on Saturday should be to shut down one element of the ECU offense. If they don't and fail to score in the first half like they have, it could get ugly.
3. The Carolina rivalry has actually been going strong for almost two decades. Saturday will mark the 19th matchup between these two. The Gamecocks hold a 13-5 advantage in the all-time series, including a 10-4 record when the games have been played Columbia. The schools met for the first time in 1977, then played in 11-straight seasons from 1984-94 and three more times in the ‘90s (‘96, ‘97 and ’99) before the last three in the 2011, 2012 and 2014.