The NCAA granted a waiver to East Carolina and Marshall to play their game Aug. 29, a week ahead of schedule, to honor victims of the 1970 plane crash that killed members of the Marshall football team.
"We plan to invite family members of the players from both teams who played in the game," East Carolina athletic director Jon Gilbert told ESPN's Chris Low. "Both programs will forever be linked, and we are honored to recognize the 75 people who lost their lives."
Seventy-five people died Nov. 14, 1970, when a plane carrying the Marshall football team from a game at East Carolina crashed. The universities felt airing the game ahead of the traditional Week 1 would allow it to get a more proper focus; ESPN has agreed to broadcast the game.
"Marshall University, the city of Huntington, WV and East Carolina University take great pride in never forgetting the people that gave their lives on that day and having an opportunity to show this on national television would be a great privilege," Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick wrote in a letter to the NCAA.
The East Carolina-Marshall rivalry underwent an eight-year hiatus after the plane crash, resuming for one game in 1978 before not returning again until after the turn of the century. The two schools played nine straight years as members of Conference USA from 2005-13 but have not played since East Carolina joined the American Athletic Conference.
East Carolina leads the all-time series 10-5.