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Preview of Sunday’s MEAC/SWAC Challenge

ESPN college football analyst Jay Walker gives his keys to the early-season matchup


If you’ve ever attended any of the previous 11 MEAC/SWAC Challenge games, three things are a constant: rabid fans, the hotly anticipated halftime battle of the bands … and ESPN college football analyst Jay Walker breaking down the real-time action.

The 1994 Howard University graduate who was drafted in the seventh round that year by the New England Patriots, where he played two seasons, has been a fixture for the network’s coverage of historically black college and university (HBCU) games since 2006.

“The MEAC/SWAC Challenge provides these schools unprecedented exposure,” said Walker, who was recently named to the MEAC/SWAC All-Time Greatest Team. “This game allows HBCU athletes to experience a bowl game-like atmosphere, something I never had as a player. It’s wonderful for them – something they look forward to each and every year.”

The 2016 MEAC/SWAC Challenge will be played Sunday (on ESPN, at 1 p.m. ET) from Municipal Stadium in Daytona Beach, Florida. The 12th annual event will match defending SWAC champion Alcorn State University against defending MEAC champion Bethune-Cookman University. A veteran of this game, Walker knows the teams, the coaches and most important, what’s at stake. “We have two teams who aren’t unaccustomed to high-caliber football,” Walker continued. “I expect a battle.” Walker makes his Undefeated debut, and gives his take on how the game will go down.

Caleb Wilkerson leads original video production at The Undefeated. He was a finalist for MTV’s Real World New Orleans but did not make the final casting call.