Two of the most prominent HBCU football programs will begin their 2020 season at the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kick-off. The matchup between Grambling State and South Carolina State at Atlanta’s Georgia State Stadium will pit these two powerhouse football programs against one another for the 16th time. Grambling State leads the overall series 10-5, but South Carolina State won the last meeting in the 2009 MEAC/SWAC Challenge. This game will be a rematch of one of the most exciting games in Challenge history.
Grambling State finished the 2019 campaign strong, winning six of its last seven games, including a victory over eventual SWAC champion Alcorn State. Coach Broderick Fobbs has posted an impressive 42-9 record in SWAC play during his six seasons as head coach and led the Tigers to back-to-back Celebration Bowl appearances in 2016 and 2017. Fobbs was inducted into the Celebration Bowl Champions Circle to recognize the Tigers’ Celebration Bowl win and HBCU national championship in 2016.
South Carolina State won five of six to close the 2019 season and finish at 8-3 overall, 6-2 in MEAC play. Coach Buddy Pugh’s Bulldogs will return many key players including quarterbacks Corey Fields and Tryece Nick. Last year Pugh became the winningest coach in program history and currently holds a 133-74 record overall. The Bulldogs have won outright or shared seven MEAC titles in his 18 seasons as head coach.
The national spotlight will be on HBCU football on Sunday, September 6 as the game will be televised live on ESPN2. Will Grambling State vs. South Carolina State serve as a Celebration Bowl preview? Only time will tell.