PROVO — BYU and East Carolina announced Wednesday that they have agreed to play a home-and-home football series slated for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

The Cougars will open the series in 2017 on the road at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, N.C., and will then host the Pirates at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo in 2018.

"We're excited about this series with East Carolina. It allows both schools to have a unique travel experience and play very good competition," BYU director of athletics Tom Holmoe said. "Our football team has never played in North Carolina, so I'm excited that BYU fans in that part of the country will have an opportunity to see our team play in person."

The ECU football program began in 1932 and competed as a Division I-A independent from 1978 until accepting C-USA membership in 1997. The Pirates earned back-to-back C-USA championships in 2008 and 2009. Overall ECU has appeared in 17 bowl games and ended three campaigns ranked in the top 25. Despite having 25 players start their first career games in 2011, the Pirates rebounded from a 1-4 start to finish at 5-7 and narrowly missed making their sixth-straight bowl appearance.