Iowa Hawkeye Football Schedule Prep: Week 2 vs. Iowa State

Each Monday, we'll look ahead game by game with a brief preview of the 2024 football schedule. In Week 2, the Hawkeyes will battle Iowa State for the Cy-Hawk Trophy.
Iowa v Iowa State
Iowa v Iowa State / David K Purdy/GettyImages

The Iowa Spring Game is in the books, a handful of former Hawkeyes are off to the NFL and now a long summer separates us from the start of the 2024 college football season. In the meantime, we'll look ahead through the Iowa Hawkeyes' schedule week by week.

This week, the season really begins as Iowa will host their most hated rival, the Iowa State Cyclones in Week 2.

Hawkeye fans are hoping Iowa can build a new winning streak after taking back the Cy-Hawk trophy last year in Ames with a 20-13 victory.

The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series 47-23 as Iowa State hasn't been at the same caliber of program throughout its history. Under head coach Matt Campbell, the Cyclones' status in the college football landscape has changed drastically. Still, he's just 1-6 against the Black & Gold.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz is 13-10 against the Cyclones.

Iowa State is coming off a 7-6 season that finished with a Liberty Bowl loss to Memphis. Still, the Cyclones return 20 total starters from last year, the most in the country at the FCS level. Retaining talent from an average season does yield experience if it does sacrifice talent.

However, Campbell and the Cyclones will be counting on Big 12 Freshman on the Year Rocco Becht at quarterback to bring the program back to the stronger Brock Purdy years. He'll have fellow sophomore Abu Sama III at running back and the experienced Jaylin Noel as his primary receiver to build on a 3,000+ yard, 23 touchdown season in 2023.

Defensively, the Cyclones are strongest in the secondary, particularly at safety with the tandem of Jeremiah Cooper, a first-team Big 12 selection last year, and Beau Freyler, who led the team in tackles. Replacing TJ Tampa will be a significant hurdle for a secondary that allowed just 229 yards per game through the air last season.

Of course, Iowa likes to run the ball and the Cyclones are weaker in their front seven, which allowed 134 yards per game on the ground in 2023. The Hawkeyes rushed for 112 in last year's contest.

Iowa State is never a 'gimme' game, at least not since they hired Campbell and he got the ball rolling on his rebuild. Each of the last six games was decided by 10 points or less, half of them by three points or less.

It goes without saying that this game will be a tone-setter for Iowa's 2024 season. A win carries significant momentum before the start of Big 10 play two weeks later. A loss would be difficult to recover from despite a relatively favorable schedule.

The game is set for September 7 with kickoff time and television and streaming channels to be announced at a later date.

You can check out last week's early preview against Illinois State here.

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