ATHENS, Georgia (Ticker) -- Georgia Tech quarterback Reggie Ball lost count of the downs at a most inopportune time.
Ball inexplicably threw the ball away on fourth down in the final minute as Georgia held on for a 19-13 victory over the Yellow Jackets amid heavy rains.
After Brandon Coutu gave Georgia (9-2) a 19-13 advantage on a 44-yard field goal - his first career attempt - with 2:16 remaining, Ball marched Georgia Tech (6-5) down the field, connecting on a 38-yard pass to Levon Thomas to the 21.
On first down, Ball threw a pass to running back P.J. Daniels for no gain, then was sacked for an 11-yard loss by Bulldogs defensive end Quentin Moses and spiked the ball on third down.
Chased out of the pocket on fourth down, Ball intentionally threw the ball out of bounds over the right sideline with 28 seconds left, and Georgia took over on downs and took a knee to end the contest.
"(Ball) thought the clock said third down," Yellow Jackets coach Chan Gailey said. "He got discombobulated. I know he would not have thrown it away on fourth."
Making his final home start, Georgia's David Greene completed 6-of-12 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. The lefthander sprained his left thumb in the first quarter but came back in to lead the Bulldogs' late scoring drive after backup D.J. Shockley went just 5-of-16 for 112 yards and a score.
"David Greene is a fantastic player, and when he was not in there, they struggled," Gailey said.
"It was starting to eat at me a bit that I wasn't out there, so I told coach that I wanted to come back in after I had been throwing a little bit," Greene said. "As long as I stayed in the shotgun I was fine. I couldn't come in earlier because I didn't stand a chance in the rain. But once it stopped raining and I felt the momentum was slipping away, then I told coach I was there if he needed me."
Greene did surpass Peyton Manning to become the SEC's all-time leader in career passing yards. Greene, who improved his NCAA-record win total as a starter to 41, has 11,264 yards, 63 more than Manning had at Tennessee from 1994-97.
Greene tossed a 28-yard touchdown to Fred Gibson just under six minutes into the game.
"Right before we scored the first touchdown, I got hit pretty good and it just swelled up," Greene said. "they took me in for X-rays and said I had cracked the bone on the top of my thumb."
After a 36-yard field goal by Andy Bailey, Shockley made it 16-0 on a three-yard pass to Reggie Brown with 5:17 left in the first half. Bailey missed the ensuing extra point.
The Yellow Jackets scored 13 points in the third quarter on a pair of field goals by Travis Bell sandwiched around a one-yard run by Daniels, who was playing his first game in a month due to a knee injury suffered against Virginia Tech.
"It would have been easy for us to lay down at halftime down 16-0," Gailey said. "We fought back. This football team, they did not get down. They fight. They handle adversity well."
Bell has made 15 straight kicks after missing his first attempt of the season.
The Bulldogs gained just 34 yards on 33 carries but limited the Yellow Jackets to 24 yards on 35 rushes.
Georgia has won four in a row in the series, which it leads, 56-36-5.
With two sacks, Bulldogs defensive end David Pollack increased his career total to 33, including an Southeastern Conference-best 9 1/2 this season.
The Bulldogs were penalized 11 times for 85 yards, with a pair of pass-interference calls against cornerback DeMario Minter leading to Daniels' touchdown. Georgia Tech was penalized five times for just 25 yards.
"I'm just really thankful for the outcome," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "We were not as disciplined as I am used to us being. Especially in the second half, we did not look like the Georgia football team that I am used to coaching."