UNC's Draughn fractures shoulder blade

Updated: November 8, 2009, 6:03 PM ET
By Heather Dinich | ESPN.com

North Carolina starting tailback Shaun Draughn, the team's leading rusher, will miss the rest of the season with a fractured left shoulder blade (scapula) he suffered on the first play from scrimmage in Carolina's 19-6 win over Duke on Saturday.

Draughn started all nine games this season and was leading the Tar Heels with 567 yards on 124 carries. He ranks seventh in the league with 63.0 yards per game.

UNC's offense, which is ranked 113th in the nation in total offense, has struggled all season, but started to turn the corner in recent weeks with wins over Virginia Tech and Duke.

While the loss of Draughn won't help matters down the stretch, the Tar Heels got a career day from backup Ryan Houston on Saturday. Houston, who is usually used in short yardage situations, ran for a career-high 164 yards. He'll likely carry the load now.

UNC needs one more win to become bowl eligible with three games remaining, starting this weekend against Miami.

Heather Dinich covers the ACC for ESPN.com.