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Football: Louisiana Football Named FWAA National Team of the Week

Ragin’ Cajuns earned first road win over ranked opponent with upset over No. 23 Iowa State

LAFAYETTE – Following Louisiana Football's historic road win over No. 23 Iowa State, the Ragin' Cajuns have been named the FWAA National Team of the Week following its 31-14 upset victory on Saturday, Sept. 12, at Jack Trice Stadium.
 
This is the first time that Louisiana has earned the honor and makes the Ragin' Cajuns the fifth Sun Belt Conference team to be recognized. With South Alabama winning last week's award, the Sun Belt has had two teams honored in the same season for the first time since the award began in 2002.
 
Saturday's victory marked the program's first win over a ranked opponent since it defeated No. 25 Texas A&M, 29-22, on Sept. 14, 1996, and their first win over a Big 12 opponent since defeating Kansas State, 17-15, on Sept. 12, 2009.
 
The win was fueled by Chris Smith's 95-yard kickoff return and an 83-yard Eric Garror punt return, the first time Louisiana finished a game with two special teams scorers since Raymond Calais returned two kickoffs against Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 2, 2017. Smith was named the Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance.
 
Linebacker Ferrod Gardner also received high praise following his nine-tackle performance, being named the Walter Camp FBS National Defensive Player of the Week and the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week.
 
Quarterback Levi Lewis was recognized nationally as well following the victory, landing on the Davey O'Brien Award's Great 8 List.
 
As a team, the Ragin' Cajuns received their first-ever national rankings in the modern era after the historic victory after being voted No. 19 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and No. 21 in the USA Today Amway Coaches Poll.
 
All Division I FBS and FCS schools are eligible to be selected for the National Team of the Week honor. This is the 19th season for the FWAA to award a National Team of the Week
 
Louisiana returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 19, when it travels to Atlanta to open Sun Belt Conference play against Georgia State. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. CST and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.
 



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