Michael Ray Garvin returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown to spark Florida State to its fourth straight victory, a 27-10 win Saturday over North Carolina State.
Garvin gave Florida State a 17-10 lead early in the third quarter with his first interception of the season when he picked off Daniel Evans and went streaking towards the endzone.
"A team like that, you have to break them somewhere," head coach Bobby Bowden said after the game. "Garvin's interception for a touchdown kind of took it out of North Carolina State and put us in the driver's seat."
Last season Evans threw three touchdown passes in N.C. State's 24-20 victory over the Seminoles, but the Seminoles got their revenge in Doak Campbell intercepting the sophomore three times Saturday - once at the end of the half that killed a Wolfpack drive that had reached Florida State's 26. Prior to that interception though, Florida State's defense had allowed 205 yards and went into the locker room tied at ten with the Wolfpack.
"I did not think our defense was very intense in the first half," Bowden said. "I mean they pushed us around pretty good, they made it seem like they made all their third downs, they drove up and down the field and the offense couldn't get the ball."
During the second half though the Seminole defense responded surrendering only 64 yards.
"I didn't feel like there was any intensity or urgency on the part of our defense until the second half," Bowden said. "After Mickey (Andrews) got through with them."
It was the first game against North Carolina State for former Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato, who returned to Florida State to be an assistant after getting fired by N.C. State after last season.
One of the players Amato recruited, sophomore Jamelle Eugene, ran for 101 yards on 14 carries and caught five passes for another 30 yards for the Wolfpack. Eugene though was the only offensive threat for the Wolfpack on the evening.
Offensively for Florida State junior quarterback Xavier Lee, making his first start of the season at quarterback, ran two yards for the Seminoles' first touchdown 2:11 into the game, three plays after a 58-yard pass to Greg Carr on the game's first play. Carr later caught a 40-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to give the Seminoles a 24-10 lead.
Lee was 16-for-28 passes for 257 yards. Carr caught four passes for 140 yards.
The Seminoles (4-1,1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped a string of eight straight losses against Atlantic Division rivals. N.C. State has now lost a dozen straight game against Bowl Subdivision (formerly I-A) schools.
Although N.C. State (1-5, 0-3 ACC) led 10-7 in the first quarter, it was again plagued by four turnovers - boosting its number to 21 in coach Tom O'Brien's first year at the school.
It was Florida State coach Bowden's 370th career coaching win, the most in major college football.
The game was delayed late in the third quarter for 49 minutes because of a lightning threat. Florida State led 17-10 when the players were removed from the field.
The AP contributed to this story.