Wyatt Sexton completed only five passes, was sacked five times and spent most of the night running from tacklers. And his team won.
Lorenzo Booker and James Coleman each ran for third-quarter touchdowns, helping No. 11 Florida State (8-2 overall, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) rally to a 17-10 win over North Carolina State (4-6, 3-5) in a game that featured 22 punts, four turnovers and less than 250 yards of combined offense.
"I love 'em, that's all I can say," Sexton said of his defensive teammates.
Last season, these two teams went to double overtime before the Seminoles prevailed, 50-44.
"It was a defensive war from the very beginning," said Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden, who notched his 350th career win. "I hadn't seen a defensive battle like that in a long time."
Florida State went deep into the second quarter before its yardage total exceeded the number of plays. Sexton finished 5 for 18 for only 73 yards, and leading rusher Leon Washington was held to 56 yards on 18 carries.
The lone touchdown for the Wolfpack (4-6, 3-5) came on Darrell Blackman's 87-yard punt return in the second quarter that gave them a 10-0 lead.
After spending the entire first half on its own side of midfield, Florida State started all five of its drives in the third quarter in N.C. State's territory. Coleman capped the first one with a 1-yard plunge to make it 10-7, and after a three-and-out by the Wolfpack, the Seminoles needed to drive only 35 yards for the go-ahead score.
Sexton completed a 25-yard pass to Booker on third-and-6 to set up first-and-goal, and a play later, Booker raced in from the 4 to give Florida State a 14-10 lead.
Gary Cismesia added a 44-yard field goal late in the quarter to complete the scoring. The kick came after a fumble by N.C. State tailback T.A. McLendon gave the Seminoles the ball at the 15. Even though three plays lost 11 yards, Cismesia still was close enough.
Irish shuffle schedule
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame has reshuffled its schedule for a second straight season so it won't be playing its opening game against a Michigan team playing its second.
Instead of opening next season at Michigan on Sept. 10, the Irish will start Sept. 3 at Pittsburgh. Associate athletic director John Heisler said the school felt it was best to it keep its schedule in sync with that of Michigan.
The Wolverines open the 2005 season at home against Eastern Michigan on Sept. 3.
The Irish made a similar switch this season, moving their game at Brigham Young scheduled for Oct. 30 to the opening game on Sept. 4. The Irish lost, 20-17, to the Cougars, but beat the Wolverines, 28-20.