A record six home games, including visits from Mississippi State and the United States Naval Academy, and a nationally televised game on ESPNU highlight the 2012 Troy football schedule released Thursday by Athletic Director Steve Dennis.
"We have put together a great schedule for our fans and our team," Dennis said. "We have a proud tradition in everything we do at Troy and part of that is constructing a schedule that will benefit our team and allow our fans to support the Trojans. With six home games, including first-ever visits from an SEC team and a service academy, and four drivable road games, we need the Trojan nation to get behind this team."
The 2012 slate features games against five teams who were bowl eligible last season and all five of those contests will take place in Veterans Memorial Stadium. Troy will be on the national stage Thursday, Oct., 11 as ESPNU will broadcast Troy's home game against Western Kentucky. The six home games are the most since Troy moved up to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2001.
"As usual, we have a pretty tough non-conference schedule with games against Tennessee, Mississippi State, Navy and UAB," Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said. "The good part of it is that we play two of those teams (Miss. State and Navy) at home. The rest of the schedule is better than it has ever been with all the bowl-eligible teams from a year ago coming to Troy."
Troy opens the season on Sept. 1 in Birmingham against UAB at Legion Field. It will be the third straight year that the Trojans and Blazers have met with the home team winning the previous two matchups. Defending New Orleans Bowl champion Louisiana-Lafayette opens the home schedule on Sept. 8.
The Trojans will then host their first-ever opponent from the Southeastern Conference the following week when Mississippi State comes to Troy on Sept. 15. Troy is 2-0 against teams from BCS automatic qualifying conferences in Veterans Memorial Stadium; the Trojans defeated Oklahoma State 41-23 in 2007 and Missouri 24-14 in 2004.
A pair of road trips to North Texas (Sept. 22) and South Alabama (Sept. 29) follow the game against Mississippi State. South Alabama is in its final transition year to the Football Bowl Subdivision and will play a full eight-game Sun Belt schedule.
Following a bye week, the Trojans and Hilltoppers meet for their nationally televised contest on ESPNU on Oct. 11. Mario Cristobal's FIU Golden Panthers close the two-game homestand with a visit to Veterans Memorial Stadium on Oct. 20.
The Trojans will make their first visit to the new FAU Stadium on Oct. 27 and then travel up to Knoxville, Tenn., for a showdown with Tennessee on Nov. 3.
Troy will play host to the United States Naval Academy on Nov. 10 in Veterans Memorial Stadium. The game will take place on the 237th anniversary of the formation of the United States Marine Corps, which was founded on Nov. 10, 1775, by Captain Samuel Nicholas in Philadelphia. The game against Navy comes one day after the Troy men's basketball team opens the new Trojan Arena against Mississippi State.
Defending Sun Belt champion Arkansas State will close out the 2012 home schedule with a trip to Troy on Nov. 17.
The annual "Battle for the Palladium" against Middle Tennessee will close out the regular season schedule on Nov. 24 in Murfreesboro, Tenn. It marks just the third time that the rivalry contest has closed out a season; the teams met in the final game of the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
Season tickets for the 2012 football season will go on sale in May through the Troy ticket office, 1-877-878-WINS (9476).
2012 Troy Football Schedule
Sept. 1 at UAB
Sept. 8 Louisiana-Lafayette
Sept. 15 Mississippi State
Sept. 22 at North Texas
Sept. 29 at South Alabama
Oct. 11 Western Kentucky (ESPNU)
Oct. 20 FIU
Oct. 27 at Florida Atlantic
Nov. 3 at Tennessee
Nov. 10 Navy
Nov. 17 Arkansas State
Nov. 24 at Middle Tennessee
INFORMATION SOURCE: Troy Athletics Dept.