Talk about a truly special victory for the University of Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns.

With only a few fans in the stands at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa, the Cajuns collected the program's first road upset of a Top 25 team in its history  Saturday with a win over No. 23 Iowa State.

Coach Billy Napier’s team used big play after big play to finish with a 31-14 victory.

The special teams’ impact began when Chris Smith returned a kickoff 94 yards with 4:14 left in the second quarter to tie the game at 7-7.


OWN A PIECE OF HISTORY: Buy a poster to commemorate the big win


The offense got into the act late in the third quarter when Levi Lewis hooked up with Peter LeBlanc on a 78-yard touchdown pass to give UL the lead for good at 17-14.

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Then Eric Garror pushed that lead to 24-14 with an electrifying 84-yard punt return for a touchdown with 13:59 left to play.

The tacked on another score in the final minute.

It was the Cajuns’ first punt return for a score since 2015.

The Cajuns entered the game 1-28 all-time against ranked opponent with the only win coming over Texas A&M in 1996. UL had never beaten a Big 12 team on the road before.

Napier, who turned 41 in July, played football at 1-AA Furman and last year  led the Cajuns to their first 11-win season in school history.


Email Kevin Foote at kfoote@theadvocate.com.