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Miami RB Duke Johnson injured in loss to South Carolina


Duke Johnson's final college game couldn't have gotten off to a much better start, and couldn't have ended much worse.

The University of Miami running back, whose mother confirmed he will enter the 2015 NFL Draft as an underclassman, rushed for 132 yards on 24 carries and caught five passes for another 51 yards against South Carolina in the Independence Bowl.

But on a late Hurricanes drive for a potential game-winning touchdown in the final minutes, Johnson suffered an injury on a carry for no gain and fumbled on the play, setting up a game-clinching Gamecocks touchdown in a 24-21 South Carolina win.

On what was an off-day for Miami freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya, Johnson was just about all Miami had to rely on offensively, accounting for 183 of the 350 yards Miami compiled before he was injured.

Johnson indicated his injury was a minor one, according to Josh Kendall of The State. As an early draft entry, the goal for Johnson would be to show as much as physically possible at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in late February. Based on his comment following the game -- "If it had come down to it, I probably could have gone back in" -- that shouldn't be a problem with roughly eight weeks to recover and prepare for the combine.

Miami drove for a quick score after South Carolina put the game away, but was unable get the ball back as South Carolina's Mike Davis ran for a first down that salted the clock. Davis, who also has announced he will enter the draft early, ran 13 times for 55 yards.

Other top individual performances:

  • Miami senior linebacker Denzel Perryman, the Hurricanes' top defensive draft prospect, made eight tackles with a tackle for loss and a pass breakup in his final college game.
  • South Carolina senior quarterback Dylan Thompson completed 22 of 34 passes for 279 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
  • South Carolina sophomore receiver Pharoh Cooper made nine catches for 170 yards and a touchdown.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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