Louisiana, Arkansas State make trouble for Big 12 opponents

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Louisiana and Arkansas State gave their Big 12 Conference opponents upset losses on Saturday.

Louisiana picked up a 31-14 victory over No. 23 Iowa State while Arkansas State delivered a loss to Kansas State in the final minute of their matchup, and won 35-31.

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The Ragin Cajuns were ignited by Chris Smith’s 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter and Eric Garror’s 83-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter to give the team one of their biggest wins in school history.

“We’ve got a lot of belief that the University of Louisiana should always have a competitive team,” Louisiana coach Billy Napier said. “We’re fortunate we got the necessary things from our administration. They decided they wanted to have an exceptional Group of Five football program. They gave us the money to go hire the people, they’ve given us the resources inside the building to really run a Power Five operation. This is what we expected to happen.

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“Nobody is going to care what happened today if you go lose a couple over the next couple weeks. We’ll celebrate tonight and then come down to earth tomorrow and start working again.”

Arkansas State defeated Kansas State in the final minute of their game. Jonathan Adams Jr. caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Layne Hatcher. Adams had three touchdown catches on the day.

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“It was fun, but not surprising,” Red Wolves coach Blake Anderson said after the game. “We believed all week we could win this game. We didn’t play great and still won it, they just kept believing and kept playing. I thought we were competitive in every phase – not perfect, but competitive. Guys stepped up all over our defense and made plays today.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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