New-look Pirates preparing for rematch with NC State

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- "Ten days until we kick off in Raleigh," Mike Houston yelled. "Ten days until game day."

The East Carolina football team will begin the season on the same field where last year ended -- at NC State.

ECU fell 58-3 in Raleigh on December 1 to close out a 3-9 season -- the Pirates' fourth consecutive losing season.

A lot of changes happened during the offseason for the Pirates, one of them being a new head coach, Mike Houston.

Houston came from James Madison where he spent two seasons. In 2016, Houston lead the Dukes to the FCS Championship where they beat Youngstown State for the second national title in program history.

Houston knows he has his work cut out for him at East Carolina as the once-proud program tries to rebuild.

His motto is 'why not us?' It's something he wants his players to believe this season as he tries to crush any doubts they might have about their potential when they walk into Carter-Finley Stadium on August 31.

Holton Ahlers will take the first snap in that game, Houston announced Tuesday after practice.

Ahlers, a sophomore from Greenville, won the quarterback competition over redshirt junior Reid Herring from Millbrook.
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