Jackson State football will kick off the post-Deion Sanders Era with a televised game on ABC against a South Carolina State program it is very familiar with.
The 2023 MEAC/SWAC Challenge will air on ABC on August 26 at 7:30 PM EST according to ESPN PR. This year’s game will feature South Carolina State University as the MEAC representative taking on Jackson State University.
The game will be played in Atlanta, GA at Center Parc Stadium. It is the 18th matchup between the MEAC and SWAC, the two Division I HBCU football conferences.
South Carolina State has particpated in four MEAC/SWAC Challenges with a record of 3-1 against its SWAC competition. SC State won the inaugural game back in 2005, defeating Alabama State 27-14. Four years later it took down Grambling State in a thrilling 34-31 matchup. The 2015 game was a dominant 35-7 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Two years later, however, SC State suffered a 10-8 loss to Southern in a game that was played in Baton Rouge at A.W. Mumford Stadium.
The 2023 game will be the third appearance for the Jackson State football program, which will be looking for its first win in the showcase game. Jackson State suffered a 17-13 loss to Hampton University back in 2008. It returned to the game in 2019, but lost 36-15 to Bethune-Cookman.
The MEAC/SWAC Challenge will be a rematch of the 2021 Celebration Bowl in which South Carolina State humbled Jackson State 31-10 down the road at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Many things will be different for this matchup, most notably the fact that Jackson State will be making its debut under T.C. Taylor after the departure of Deion Sanders while SC State will begin its 21st season with Buddy Pough as its head coach.