You can add Marshall and East Carolina to the list of upcoming ‘Week 0’ games for the 2020 season after the two schools announced a date change for their matchup this year.
While television played a small role in the shift, the two programs sought an NCAA waiver to play on Saturday, August 29 as a way of honoring the 50th anniversary of the tragic plane crash of Southern Airways Flight 932 that claimed the lives of 75 people. The majority of those killed were part of the Thundering Herd football program who were returning from a game against the Pirates.
“We are grateful to Jon Gilbert and everyone at East Carolina University for their efforts in making this schedule change come to fruition,” Marshall AD Mike Hamrick said in a release. “Our people, our universities and our football programs will forever be linked by the tragedy that occurred 50 years ago. This change will allow a national audience to join us in paying proper respect to the 75.”
The incident was famously recounted in the movie ‘We Are Marshall,’ starring noted football fan (and Texas’ Minister of Culture) Matthew McConaughey.
The two programs have met a total of 15 times over the years and have three additional non-conference games set between 2021 and 2025.