Shreveport, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Dylan Thompson scored the decisive touchdown on a quarterback keeper after a Duke Johnson fumble, as South Carolina edged Miami-Florida 24-21 in Saturday's Independence Bowl.
Thompson threw two touchdown passes while finishing 22-of-34 for 294 yards.
Pharoh Cooper had 170 yards and one touchdown on nine receptions for the Gamecocks (7-6), who won a school-record fourth straight bowl game.
Johnson rushed 24 times for 132 yards, but the junior suffered an ankle injury and fumbled on what is expected to be his final collegiate carry. Johnson's mother, Cassandra Mitchell, told the Palm Beach Post on Saturday that her son will enter the 2015 NFL Draft.
Brad Kaaya was 19-of-33 for 236 yards with a touchdown and one interception for Miami (6-7), which ended the season on a four-game losing streak. The Hurricanes also suffered a school-record fifth consecutive bowl defeat.
A 3-yard touchdown run by Gus Edwards and a successful two-point conversion trimmed Miami's deficit to 17-14 with 1:43 to play in the third quarter.
South Carolina turned the ball over on downs on the ensuing possession when Brandon Wilds was tackled for a 1-yard loss at the Miami 39 early in the fourth quarter.
The Hurricanes then looked to tie the game, but Michael Badgley missed wide left from 51 yards.
Johnson fumbled on the second play of the next Hurricanes drive and Gerald Dixon made the recovery at the Miami 29-yard line. After a short run by Mike Davis, Cooper reached around a defender to make a catch at the 2-yard line, setting up Thompson's TD run with 4:13 to play.
Kaaya quickly responded with a 11-yard touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett, but the Gamecocks forced the Hurricanes to use all three of their timeouts while running out the final 2:16.
Miami had success moving the ball to begin the game, reaching the red zone on both of its first two possessions. However, the Hurricanes were forced to settle for a pair of Badgley field goals.
The Gamecocks' first three drives consisted of two punts and a missed field goal, but they produced points on their next three to go up 17-6.
Thompson hit Cooper on a seam route and he raced to the end zone for a 78-yard touchdown.
After the Hurricanes went three-and-out, Thompson completed a 35-yard pass to Damiere Byrd on a deep out, setting up a 1st-and-goal. Thompson later rolled to his left on third down to escape pressure and threw back to the right to Davis for a 15-yard touchdown.
Elliott Fry kicked a 32-yard field goal following a Kaaya interception with 1:39 left in the second quarter. Fry was short on a 58-yard attempt to conclude the opening half.
Johnson posted his 14th 100-yard rushing game, tying him with Clinton Portis and Edgerrin James for the most in Miami history ... South Carolina was ranked ninth in the preseason AP poll ... The Gamecocks beat the Hurricanes for the first time since 1947, snapping a six-game losing streak ... South Carolina improved to 8-12 all-time in bowl games, while Miami's bowl record fell to 19-19.