RALEIGH — East Carolina University fans were already looking forward to the big showdown with the nationally-ranked Miami Hurricanes before the season even began.
But once Greenville got hit with the flooding from Floyd, today's game took on a whole new meaning.
Onlookers would not believe that ECU was away from home tonight by all the thousands of fans at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh Saturday. Not only were they battling one of the top-ranked teams in the nation, it was also Parents' Day.
For a while, they could forget about the ongoing battle against Hurricane Floyd back home in Greenville.
"And it came up to about chest-high," said Michelle Gray, a junior at ECU, of flooding in her apartment. "Right now, it's just waste-high."
Students said they would much rather take on Miami in Greenville to maximize home field advantage.
"But as long as the game gets played, I'm happy," said Alex Wilson, an ECU senior. "That's how I look at it."
Last week, ECU was transplanted to South Carolina. This week, it was rival N.C. State's turf. One alumni said it was a little strange.
"It's a little strange, but it's been real refreshening to see the support they've given us, as well as the support South Carolina gave us a few weeks ago," said ECU alumnus Ed Dennis. "It shows that there is a lot of comradery around the conference."
No matter what Floyd did, it could not dampen the school spirit of ECU students.
"And hopefully, we'll show the nation that we got flooded out, but we can still compete," said senior Travis Elliot.
The ECU Pirates beat the Miami Hurricanes, 27-23.