For the second season in a row, Wigan Athletic served up a dreadful derby display at Deepdale as Preston were afforded bragging rights with embarrassing ease.
Paul Cook had made his squad sit through the 4-0 drubbing here last term in the lead-up to the game, in an attempt to motivate them into a better performance.
But it clearly didn't have the desired effect, with Latics putting in arguably a worse 90-minute display and being fortunate to lose by only three goals.
Preston were off to a flyer, and in front within five minutes.
Sean Maguire, one of the smallest men on the field, was somehow afforded a free header from a corner to leave David Marshall helpless.
Latics were almost level immediately, thanks to a mistake at the back from Preston.
Josh Windass put his foot through the ball only for Declan Rudd to make a brilliant save.
Latics went close again when a curling strike from Lewis Macleod was tips it round the post by Rudd at full stretch.
But that was sadly just about it from Latics as an attacking force, as the home side gained a complete stranglehold on the game.
Macleod had to bring down Louis Moult at the expense of a booking, with Marshall able to watch the free-kick from Paul Gallagher fly over the top.
Marshall made a good save to deny Daniel Johnson, before Latics were forced into an early change after Joe Garner was concussed while blocking a Ben Pearson rocket.
That meant a debut for Kieffer Moore, but all the action was continuing to take place at the other end.
Billy Bodin skipped past Antonee Robinson, and his cross to the far post was flicked over the head of Moult by Marshall.
Maguire then volleyed over before Gallagher saw Marshall off his line, and sent a delightful chip only inches too high.
But the second goal that had been coming arrived seven minutes before the break, Moult sending another free header past Marshall off Johnson's cross.
Whatever Paul Cook said to his troops at the break didn't work, with North End finding a third goal eight minutes after the start.
This time it was down to attacking brilliance rather than defensive ineptitude, with Gallagher curling a wonderful free-kick into the top corner of Marshall's net.
Latics were forced into another reshuffle when Danny Fox limped off to be replaced by Jamal Lowe, with Kal Naismith dropping in to centre-half.
Joe Williams also appeared off the bench for his debut, in place of Michael Jacobs.
But the visitors were unable to muster any sort of response, with Lee Evans and Windass being denied by Rudd.