DALLAS (FWAA) – Big special teams plays powered
the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns past No. 23 Iowa State,
31-14 for their first win in program history over a ranked opponent
on the road. Louisiana's (1-0) first win over a ranked opponent
since 1996 earned it the Reveal Suits National Team of the
Week honor for games of the weekend of Sept. 12, as selected
by the Football Writers Association of America.
All Division I FBS and FCS schools are eligible to be selected.
This is the 19th season for the FWAA to award a National Team of
This is the first time for Louisiana to earn the honor. The Ragin'
Cajuns are the fifth Sun Belt Conference team to be honored, and
with South Alabama winning last week's award, the Sun Belt has two
teams honored in the same season for the first time since the award
began in 2002.
Iowa State had just taken a 7-0 before Louisiana's Chris Smith
returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a tying touchdown – his
first career kick return for a score. The Cyclones led 14-10 at
the half, but the Ragin' Cajuns hit the big play again late in the
third quarter when Levi Lewis found a streaking Peter LeBlanc for
a 78-yard touchdown pass and a 17-14 Louisiana lead. Barely one
minute into the fourth quarter, Eric Garror returned a punt 83 yards
for another touchdown to extend the lead to 24-14.
The Ragin' Cajuns held Iowa State scoreless in the second half
with a defense led by Lorenzo McCaskill's 10 tackles. Ferrod Gardner
added nine tackles and the first sack of his career.
The second weekend in September has been dynamic for Louisiana
in the past. The Ragin' Cajuns last beat a top-25 team on this same
weekend, Sept. 14, 1996, in a 29-22 home win over Texas A&M.
Its last win over a Big 12 opponent came on Sept. 12, 2009, a 17-15
win over Kansas State.
The other Reveal Suits National Team of the Week nominees for
the weekend of Sept. 12 are:
• Arkansas State (1-1): Layne Hatcher found
Jonathan Adams for a 17-yard touchdown pass with 38 seconds
left as the Red Wolves scored their first win over a Power 5
foe since beating Texas A&M 18-14 in 2008, and only its
second win over a Power 5 team since moving to FBS status in
1992. A-State held K-State to 91 rushing yards and just one
third-down conversion. It marked the first season-opening defeat
in Manhattan for K-State since a loss to North Dakota State
in 2013, when K-State head coach Chris Klieman was on the Bison
sideline as defensive coordinator.
• Coastal Carolina (1-0): The Chanticleers
opened the season with a win for the first time since 2017 by
beating Kansas, 38-23, its second win over the Jayhawks in as
many seasons. Coastal scored the game's first 28 points and
had three takeaways to register a second win in Lawrence following
last season's 12-7 road win. The Chanticleers are now 2-1 against
Power 5 opponents under head coach Jamey Chadwell.
• Georgia Tech (1-0): Two true freshmen
and a sophomore led the Yellow Jackets to a season-opening 16-13
road win at Florida State. Quarterback Jeff Sims had 341 yards
of total offense and sophomore defensive end Curtis Ryans forced
a fumble that set up true freshman Jude Kelley's 32-yard game-winning
field goal with 8:56 left. Georgia Tech fell behind 10-0 but
recovered to outgain FSU 438-307 as Sims was solid in his debut,
completing 24-of-35 passes for 277 yards and a touchdown and
running for a game-high 64 yards.
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Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,300 men and women who cover college football.
The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key
executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas
that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team.
For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson