ATLANTA — Everett Withers missed out on a chance to become the first North Carolina coach to start 4-0 since the Atlantic Coast Conference was founded 58 years ago.
He had no complaints about his team's effort.
The Tar Heels (3-1, 1-1 ACC) fought back from a two-touchdown deficit at the start of the fourth quarter, but No. 25 Georgia Tech pulled out a 35-28 victory on Tevin Washington's 5-yard touchdown run with about 5½ minutes remaining Saturday.
"I couldn't be prouder of this team," said Withers, who took over as interim coach just before the start of preseason practice when the scandal-plagued program dumped Butch Davis. "We have a chance to be good. We have a chance to be real good."
So does Georgia Tech, which improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1990. That was the season the Yellow Jackets went unbeaten and claimed a share of the national championship with Colorado.
"After the first few games, we thought we would try and make this more exciting," joked coach Paul Johnson, whose team won its first three games by an average of more than 37 points. "I was proud of our guys and especially the way we came back in the fourth quarter."
The Tar Heels were actually the ones who did most of the rallying in the final period, tying the game on Giovani Bernard's 55-yard run with 7:22 left.
Georgia Tech needed only four plays to respond in its conference opener. Running back Roddy Jones reached out to take a pitch from Washington that looked too far in front of him, going 48 yards fot a score.