RALEIGH — What the legislature wants, the legislature usually gets. This weekend, ECU will visit NC State for the first time in ten years, all because of a new law that forces in-state schools to play each other. Scars still remain from the last backyard brawl.
You'd be surprised to know how many NC State students don't know what happened the last time East Carolina came to play football in Raleigh. The Pirates upset the Pack and a mob of happy fans swarmed the field and tore down the goalposts.
The crowd was so out of control, a campus police officer was hurt in the fracas. Officers say neither teams' fans were fully responsible, but following the 1987 game, the bitter rivals couldn't agree to play each other until the general assembly stepped in.
They've met twice since then on neutral fields, but this is the first reunion on home turf.
The students may not fully appreciate the rivalry between the two teams, but local police do. State's public safety office will have backup from Wake County deputies and from ECU police. This weekend's game will have the tightest security of any game this season.
While State fans are hoping for a pack victory and a bowl bid, the people looking out for the crowd just hope the players see all the action while the fans stay in the stands.
The East Carolina, NC State rivalry has produced eight of the top ten highest attended college football games in North Carolina.