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Sunday, October 19, 2008
Clemson QB Harper expected back vs. BC; Eagles LB Toal out for year

By Heather Dinich
ESPN.com

Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper had surgery on his fractured left shoulder on Sunday and should be ready for the Tigers' Nov. 1 game at Boston College, the school announced Sunday.

The Eagles, however, will be without their second-leading tackler, linebacker Brian Toal, who is out for the rest of the season with a broken right fibula, coach Jeff Jagodzinski announced.

"It's a non-weight bearing bone, but he'll be gone," Jagodzinski said. " ... It's part of the game. It's unfortunate because he was playing really good football for us."

Toal has 42 tackles this season and two sacks. He was also used in short-yardage situations and goal-line packages and had eight carries for 55 yards this season.

It has to be a particularly frustrating end to the season for Toal, who redshirted because of a shoulder injury last season so he could play a fifth year. He left near the end of the first quarter in Saturday's upset over Virginia Tech. Toal's backup is senior Robert Francois.

Harper had been contemplating surgery on his non-throwing shoulder all week and said he'd have time to recover with the bye week if he chose to do it Sunday.

"The surgery went well and we expect Cullen to be back at practice on Tuesday and ready to start against Boston College in two weeks," Clemson interim coach Dabo Swinney said in a statement.

Harper was benched by former coach Tommy Bowden following Clemson's loss to Wake Forest but earned his job back this past weekend in a 21-17 loss to Georgia Tech.

Harper has completed 114 of 186 passes for 1,291 yards and six touchdowns in seven games this season. He is now first in the ACC in passing efficiency in with a rating of 123.0.

Heather Dinich is a college football reporter for ESPN.com.