AMES, Iowa (AP) — Louisiana-Lafayette got kick and punt returns for touchdowns to help secure one of its biggest wins in program history, 31-14 win over No. 23 Iowa State on Saturday.
On a day when both offenses seemed overmatched, the Ragin' Cajuns were ignited by Chris Smith's 95-yard kickoff return in the second quarter and Eric Garror's 83-yard punt return in the third.
Levi Lewis also threw a 78-yard scoring pass to Peter LeBlanc to give Louisiana-Lafayette a 17-14 lead late in the third quarter.
Louisiana-Lafayette beat a Top 25 opponent for the first time, having gone 0-26 against ranked foes away from home. The Ragin' Cajuns' only other win over a Top 25 team was in 1996 at home against Texas A&M.
The Ragin' Cajuns limited Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy to 16-of-35 passing for 145 yards, with no touchdowns and an interception. It was ISU's fewest passing yards in two years.
Iowa State's Breece Hall rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
The Cyclone offense sputtered early with a series of dropped passes before putting together consecutive touchdown drives of 49 and 69 yards.
Smith put Louisiana-Lafayette on the board immediately after Iowa State's first score. The Ragin' Cajuns drove 61 yards in the final 70 seconds of the first half, pulling within 14-10 on Nate Snyder's 30-yard field goal.
Iowa State: The Cyclone offense was hampered by the absence of tight end Charlie Kolar, who caught 51 passes and scored seven touchdowns last season. He was out with a lower body injury. Right guard Robert Hudson also missed the game.
Louisiana-Layette: The Ragin' Cajuns were able to knock off the Cyclones despite two missed field goals by transfer kicker Nate Snyder and a struggling ground game. Louisiana-Lafayette averaged 6.3 yards per rush last season while totaling 3,604 yards. Iowa State limited the Ragin' Cajuns to 2.7 yards on 22 attempts through the first three quarters.
Iowa State began the season ranked for a second straight year, but will likely drop out of the poll this week. The Cyclones were 3-0 all time against Sun Belt Conference opponents and listed as a double-digit favorite going into Saturday's game.
Iowa State visits TCU on Sept. 26.
Louisiana-Lafayette visits Georgia State on Sept. 19.