Louisiana Lafayette Iowa St Football

Louisiana-Lafayette head coach Billy Napier watches from the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa State, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

UL football coach Billy Napier was emotional when speaking to ESPN reporters in the moments shortly after leading his team to its biggest win in program history.

The Ragin' Cajuns upset No. 23 Iowa State on the road Saturday, 31-14, in the program's first ever away victory against a ranked opponent.

After the win, Napier acknowledged the adversities his team has faced this off season from the coronavirus pandemic — Hurricane Laura two weeks ago and the death of assistant coach D.J. Looney in early August.

“I hope my man D.J. (Looney) is up there smiling right now for sure,” Napier said during the interview.

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Looney died after suffering a heart attack during a team workout at Cajun Field.

It would have been the 31-year-old Looney’s third season with UL’s program. Under his guidance, the Cajuns had Robert Hunt drafted in the second round this past NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins, while Kevin Dotson was picked in the fourth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

UL's victory over Iowa State could vault the team into the top 25 next week.