With a gash across the bridge of his nose trickling blood down his face, Florida State linebacker Daryl Bush looked like a player from a bygone era.
That was only appropriate.
For on a rainy day, he and the Seminoles defense reigned supreme in a battle at the line of scrimmage between the nation's top defenses as FSU shut out No.
11 North Carolina 13-0.
"We had something to prove," Bush said. "We took a lot of criticism last year as a defense and, coming out here against their defense, we wanted to outperform them and show what we can do."
"We felt we had to shut them out," FSU junior defensive end Peter Boulware added. "We knew how good their defense is. We knew their defense wasn't going to give up much at all. But we wanted to go even farther than a shutout. We wanted to score."
The defense didn't do that, but it limited the Tar Heels to 187 yards, sacked Chris Keldorf eight times and recorded its first shutout since 1994. On special teams, Shevin Smith blocked a field goal to keep the game scoreless and Dexter Jackson blocked a punt that set up a field goal.
But again, the Seminoles offense struggled and, with all deference to the UNC defense, should have done better than 213 yards, the lowest total for FSU since 173 against Nebraska in 1986. Thad Busby completed 7-of-19 for 65 yards and was intercepted twice. That yardage total was FSU's lowest since it had 56 against Memphis State in 1984.
"We've got a lot of work to do offensively," coach Bobby Bowden said.
Not so on the other side of the ball.
"We played a great defensive game today," defensive end Reinard Wilson said. "The most important thing was that we got the shutout. It doesn't make a difference how bad the offense plays because if we shut the other team out, we're going to win."