COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Syvelle Newton threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Troy Williamson with 1:09 left to make South Carolina bowl eligible for the first time since 2001 with a 35-32 victory over Arkansas on Saturday.
The Gamecocks (6-3, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) blew an 11-point lead in the second half and trailed 32-28 with 3:24 to go. It appeared they were going to extend to 11 their streak of losses when needing a win to qualify for the postseason.
But Newton, South Carolina's sophomore backup quarterback, led a 62-yard scoring drive. His 15-yard pass to Noah Whiteside got the Gamecocks to the Arkansas 14 with 1:29 remaining, and on the next play Newton zipped a throw near the right sideline to Williamson, who broke out of the grasp of safety Vickiel Vaughn and ran in for the winning score.
Arkansas (3-5, 1-4) had one last chance, but Matt Jones' deep throw down the middle with 46 seconds left was intercepted by South Carolina's Ko Simpson at the 2.
Jones led Arkansas on back-to-back fourth-quarter scoring drives. The second one ended with De'Arrius Howard's 7-yard run, giving the Razorbacks their last lead with less than four minutes to go.
Newton, who came in when starter Dondrial Pinkins reinjured his shoulder right before halftime, had a 5-yard touchdown run in the third quarter as South Carolina took its 28-17 lead. He completed 11 of 16 passes for 98 yards. He added 49 yards on the ground.
Jones, the SEC's leading rushing quarterback, ran for 111 yards. He was 12-of-24 for 130 yards.
Simpson's game-clinching interception was not his only big play. With the Gamecocks down 17-14, Simpson picked up a fumble by Arkansas' Peyton Hillis and went 57 yards for a touchdown.