Gardner posted nine tackles and one sack (the first full sack of his career) in the 31-14 upset victory over No. 23 Iowa State on Saturday. Gardner also added two quarterback hurries.
Gardner is the second Ragin’ Cajun to receive Walter Camp honors since 2004, joining former running back Tyrell Fenroy back in 2008. Gardner is also the first Cajun defensive player to earn SBC honors since Jacques Boudreaux in 2019.
Gardner wasn’t the only Cajun to pick up honors.
Smith returned a kickoff back 95 yards for a touchdown that tied the game at 7-7. The return was the team’s first since Raymond Calais returned two kickoffs for touchdowns on against Southeastern Louisiana in 2017.
Smith is also the first Cajun to receive the SBC distinction since kicker Stevie Artigue in 2019.
With the win, the Ragin’ Cajuns earned its second-ever win over a AP Top-25 team, the first coming on Sept. 14, 1996 in a 29-22 win over No. 25 Texas A&M, 29-22, in Lafayette. The win over Iowa State is also the program’s first victory over a ranked team on the road.
The Ragin’ Cajuns are currently No. 19 in The Associated Press Top 25 Poll and No. 21 in the USA Today Amway Coaches Poll.
Louisiana travels to Atlanta to open Sun Belt Conference play against Georgia State on Saturday. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.