Florida State's explosive offense was pushed aside for once on Saturday, turning a wind-swept, rainy game into a showcase for its much-maligned defense.
The sixth-ranked Seminoles moved a step closer to a share of a record fourth consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference title, getting two first-half scores from Warrick Dunn and a strong defensive effort in a 28-12 victory over North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C.
The defense, and not the nation's No. 1 offense, starred on a miserable day, holding the Tar Heels to 230 yards--their lowest total in at least two seasons--and recording nine tackles for losses only one game after Virginia burned them for 498 yards in a stunning upset.
The Seminoles, 8-1 overall and 6-1 in the ACC, also blocked two punts.
"Our game plan going in was to stop the run," said Florida State linebacker Todd Rebol, who helped hold the Tar Heels to 84 yards rushing. "We had to get these guys in third and long, or second and long passing situations and we had to make Mike Thomas throw the ball."
North Carolina (4-5, 2-4) is in danger of its first losing season since 1989.
Dunn finished with 143 yards in 27 carries to become the first running back in Florida State history with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.
Florida State is one-half game behind league-leading No. 14 Virginia in the standings, but can tie the Cavaliers and gain a share of its fourth ACC title in four years in the league with a victory next Saturday against Maryland.
No. 24 Clemson 34, Duke 17--Raymond Priester set a school record by rushing for 263 yards and also scored a touchdown as the Tigers (7-3, 6-2) beat the Blue Devils (3-7, 1-6) at Clemson, S.C.
Priester, a sophomore, broke the record of 260 set by Cliff Austin against Duke in 1982.
Brian Dawkins intercepted three passes to tie a school record set earlier this year by Leomont Evans.
Two came in the first period as Clemson broke the game open early. Runs of 37 and 18 yards by sophomore quarterback Nealon Greene set up two-yard touchdown runs by Emory Smith.
Smith scored three times and rushed for 33 yards.
Georgia Tech 27, North Carolina State 19--Sophomore tailback C.J. Williams scored four touchdowns, three in the fourth period, and the Yellow Jackets (6-4, 5-3) kept alive their bowl hopes with a comeback victory over the Wolfpack (2-7, 1-5) at Atlanta.
Williams had 143 yards in 23 carries to become the fourth player in Yellow Jackets history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in a season.
Tech needs to beat Georgia in its regular-season finale on Nov. 23 to secure a bowl berth.
Williams capped Tech's rally from a 19-6 deficit with an 11-yard run with 4:20 left to give the Yellow Jackets their final margin.