Coach Joe Paterno said linebacker Michael Mauti is likely out for the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. Mauti, arguably Penn State’s best defensive player, sustained the injury in the first quarter of Saturday’s 34-6 win against Eastern Michigan.
A redshirt junior, Mauti missed the entire 2009 season with a torn ACL in his right knee. He has one year of eligibility remaining. Fifth-year senior and State College native Nate Stupar replaced Mauti at strong side linebacker after the injury.
Senior cornerback D’Anton Lynn also went down during the game, suffering a neck injury late in the third quarter. He was carted off and taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center. Penn State officials later said he had movement in all his extremities and had been released from the hospital.
“I feel sorry for the kids,” Paterno said. “They've both worked awfully hard. It kind of takes a little bit off the win, but that's the way it goes.”
Some other notes from Penn State’s win:
-Matt McGloin played the better game of the two quarterbacks, going 14-for-17 for 220 yards and three touchdowns against the Eagles. Rob Bolden went 7-for-13 for 115 yards with one touchdown pass and one interception.
-Paterno coached from the sideline for the first half before moving up to the press box for the second half. It was the first time he had coached from the sideline since his preseason injury.
“I felt great until about four or five minutes to go in the first half and then I just could hardly move, but obviously I had to move,” Paterno said. “When we got ahead and it looked like we were OK, I just decided, "Hey, this is foolish so I'm going to go upstairs." I think each week I'll do a little bit more. It just hurts.”
-Anthony Fera handled placekicking and punting duties, becoming the first player to do so for the Nittany Lions since Chris Bahr in his senior season in 1975. Fera hit a 29-yard field goal and punted three times with a 51.7 average. True freshman Sam Ficken hit a 43-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Penn State entered the game 1-for-6 on field goal attempts. Evan Lewis, who started at kicker in the first three games, did not see any action.
-Wide receiver Derek Moye moved up to third all-time in program history in receiving yards on Saturday. The fifth-year senior from Rochester caught six passes, including two for touchdowns, for 65 yards on Saturday. He now has 2,026 career receiving yards, trailing just Bobby Engram (3,026) and Deon Butler (2,771).
-Former West Catholic High School star Curtis Drake caught his first pass since the 2009 season. Drake, who has injured his leg twice since 2009, played against Alabama two weeks ago but did not play against Temple last week. His reception, which came via Bolden, was in the first quarter and went for 17 yards and a first down.
-Backup running back Brandon Beachum did not play against Eastern Michigan after spraining his right foot in practice on Tuesday. Beachum is wearing a protective boot and offensive coordinator Galen Hall said the team is being cautious with him. “Hopefully we can get him back and hopefully he’ll be ready to go next week (against Indiana),” Hall said. Curtis Dukes got three carries and rushed for 29 yards in Beachum's absence.
-True freshman Bill Belton (Sicklerville, N.J.) caught his first career pass in the first quarter. It went for no gain.