Having two weeks over an open date to prepare for Georgia Tech's flexbone offense seemed a huge advantage for North Carolina.
The flexbone is so unusual that opponents often struggle to figure out how to defend it in just one week. Alas, the extra preparation didn't make much of a difference Saturday.
Georgia Tech rattled off a total of 143 yards and two touchdowns on the first eight plays.
North Carolina's players adjusted to their assignments and played better defensively in the second half, holding the Yellow Jackets to 13 points. But the start was rough.
The question now is how well N.C. State, which is 3-0 now, will get ready for Georgia Tech with nine days of preparation.
Georgia Tech's 3-4 defensive scheme didn't give North Carolina as much trouble as it did when the Yellow Jackets' coordinator, Al Groh, was head coach at Virginia.
The Cavaliers held North Carolina to 20, 13 and three points in three wins under Groh over Tar Heels coach Butch Davis. Although Davis is now 0-4 with the Tar Heels against Groh, North Carolina did score 24 points and gain 352 yards on offense.
In the second half, though, Groh found a way to get more pressure on quarterback T.J. Yates and shut out the Tar Heels over the final 25 minutes.
Here's a statistical oddity unearthed by North Carolina sports information director Steve Kirschner.
Before this season, the Tar Heels had never lost a game 30-24 and had never lost by the same score in consecutive games. This season they have lost 30-24 to both LSU and Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech place-kicker Scott Blair quietly played a huge role in this game.
Blair made all three of his three field goal attempts, including a career-long 46-yarder. He was just 12-for-19 last season, and 0-for-6 from 40 yards or longer.