TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- Scrambling to become bowl- eligible, Florida State on Saturday looked more like the Seminoles of old.
Tony Carter returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown 74 seconds into the game, and Florida State was on its way to snapping a two-game skid with a 33-0 victory over Virginia.
"That gave us a lot of energy, any time you come out and score the first points on the defense," Carter said.
Coach Bobby Bowden's Seminoles (5-4, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) started the day in last place in the Atlantic Division but dominated the Cavaliers (4-6, 3-3) from start to finish. Florida State held Virginia to 12 first downs and 183 yards of offense, and posted its first shutout since a 37-0 win at Notre Dame in 2003.
Florida State, a win away from being bowl-eligible, had a 14-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
"It took a lot of pressure off the offense," said quarterback Xavier Lee, who was making his second start of the year and first at home. "The play calling was a little bit more relaxed."
After a slow start, Lee completed 12 of 25 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown. Lee also rushed for 49 yards on four carries. He left in the fourth quarter after Antone Smith's 2-yard TD run made it 33-0.
"He came out in the second half and just played very cool," Bowden said.
After Carter picked off Jameel Sewell's pass and raced for a touchdown, freshman walk-on Eli Charles blocked a punt to set up Lorenzo Booker's 1-yard TD run.
"The script was all too familiar," Virginia coach Al Groh said. "Early disruption, interceptions, blocked punts."
Gary Cismesia's 44-yard field goal with 2:21 left in the second quarter gave the Seminoles a 17-0 lead at halftime. Florida State boosted its lead to 26-0 five minutes into the third quarter.
"Before we know it, we don't have much of a chance," Groh said.
Buster Davis sacked Sewell in the end zone for a safety, and the Seminoles needed just four plays on the ensuing possession to get into the end zone on Xavier Lee's 37-yard pass to Chris Davis.
"The defense made it easy for us to sit through and keep our composure," said Chris Davis. "Nobody got frustrated."
NAVY 38, DUKE 13
In Durham, N.C., Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada ran for 119 yards and a touchdown and threw for a score to lead Navy to a victory over Duke, clinching a fourth consecutive bowl appearance for the first time in program history.
Adam Ballard added 103 yards rushing and two touchdowns for the Midshipmen (6-3), who secured a berth in the Meineke Car Care Bowl against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent on Dec. 30 in Charlotte.
Navy had no trouble ending a two-game losing streak or finding plenty of running room against the winless Blue Devils (0-9). Navy ran for 435 yards, threw just five passes and didn't punt all day.
Re'quan Boyette ran for a short touchdown for Duke, which scored on its first possession before succumbing to Navy's relentless ground attack.
The Midshipmen had lost consecutive games to Rutgers and Notre Dame, and lost senior quarterback Brian Hampton to a season-ending knee injury against the Scarlet Knights on Oct. 14. Kaheaku-Enhada made his first career start last week, running for a pair of scores in the 38-14 loss to the Fighting Irish.
He had a much easier time against the Blue Devils, directing the Midshipmen to touchdowns on their first three drives en route to a 24-6 halftime lead.
NO. 11 NOTRE DAME 45, NORTH CAROLINA 26
In South Bend, Ind., Brady Quinn passed for four touchdowns and a season-high 346 yards to help Notre Dame overcome breakdowns on defense and special teams and beat North Carolina.
It appeared for a while that the Fighting Irish would put the game away early, breaking a 7-7 tie with a pair of touchdowns and a field goal to move ahead 24-7.
But the Irish gave up a 90-yard kickoff return by Brandon Tate and a 72-yard touchdown catch by Hakeem Nicks as the Tar Heels kept it respectable.
Notre Dame improves to 8-1 for the first time since 2002, when the Irish won their first eight games under Tyrone Willingham.
It also marks the first time the Irish have won at least eight games in back-to-back seasons since 1996.
The Tar Heels (1-8) fell to 1-16 all-time against the Irish and lost their second straight since coach John Bunting was fired.
The 26 points by the Tar Heels were the most against a Division I-A opponent this season.