Iowa Hawkeye Football Schedule Prep: Week 3 vs. Troy

Each Monday, we'll look ahead game by game with a brief preview of the 2024 football schedule. In Week 3, the Hawkeyes will play a Sun Belt team with a history of Power Conference upsets.
76 Birmingham Bowl - Troy v Duke
76 Birmingham Bowl - Troy v Duke / Brandon Sumrall/GettyImages

The offseason is churning along. In anticipation of a promising season for the Iowa Hawkeyes, we look ahead to each matchup on the 2024 schedule week-by-week to preview the season ahead.

Iowa's third home non-conference game will be against the Troy Trojans.

As many wise college football fans know, Troy is not often a program a Power Conference team such as Iowa can count as an easy W ahead of the season. The Trojans have a history of not only playing Power Conference teams close but beating them.

Since 2001, Troy has wins over Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma State and LSU.

The win against the Cornhuskers is their only win against the Big Ten in four tries. They were blown out by Minnesota, Ohio State, and, most recently, Wisconsin in their other three attempts.

The Trojans are led by head coach Gerad Parker in his first year with the team after losing Jon Sumrall to Tulane this offseason. Sumrall led Troy to back-to-back 11-plus win seasons in his two years with the program.

Parker has been with Notre Dame the past two seasons, first strictly as the tight ends coach before holding that position and the offensive coordinator role in 2023.

The Trojans are expected to run with West Virginia transfer Goose Crowder at quarterback. This season will be his first true action with just 13 career pass attempts. However, Troy spreads the ball out through the air and had 10 different receivers score a touchdown last season.

Wide receiver Chris Lewis was responsible for 10 of his own last season and returns as one of Troy's top playmakers.

Defensively, the Trojans set a new single-season sack record in the Sun Belt Conference in 2023 with 47. Javon Solomon had 16 of them, and he's now a Buffalo Bill. Richard Jibunor had 10 and he's looking to stick with the Seattle Seahawks. No other Trojan had more than four sacks, however, 14 managed to record at least one, so the Trojans knew how to create opportunities.

However, Greg Gasparato, the Trojans 2023 defensive coordinator, followed Sumrall to Tulane. Dontae Wright, who spent the last four seasons with former Troy head coach Neal Brown in West Virginia, takes over looking to replicate the defense's successes from 2023.

Iowa's advantages will come from size and strength. Anecdotely, Troy tends to keep up with speed-based Power Conference teams better than power-based programs like Iowa. That said, Troy doesn't typically lose by stepping off the bus. They come out with their best stuff looking to win - as any team should, but few lesser conference teams execute it as well as Troy, historically.

That said, Troy will be settling in with a new defense and quarterback early into the season. If Iowa has a "business as usual" approach, they should walk out of their home stadium with a win.

The game is set for September 14 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 Iowa State here.

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