Penn State star Michael Mauti carted off with knee injury

Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti, considered one of the inspirational leaders of his team's strong senior class, suffered an injury to his left knee in the first quarter of Saturday's game against Indiana and was carted off the field.

Mauti, a senior who underwent surgery last season for a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee, was injured when he was blocked in the knee by Indiana running back D'Angelo Roberts.

Hoosiers center Collin Rahrig had engaged Mauti up high before Roberts came in low, the definition of a chop block, but no penalty was called.

With coach Bill O'Brien and teammates Jordan Hill and Gerald Hodges standing over him, Mauti lay on the field in pain and could not put any weight on his left leg as he was loaded in the cart. The entire Penn State team came on the field as the cart drove off, and fullback Michael Zordich gave Mauti a high-five as he went past.

The 6-foot-2, 232-pound Mauti was the Nittany Lions' leader this season in tackles with 93 entering Saturday's game, and in interceptions with three. Off the field, he and Zordich were the leaders who worked hard to keep Penn State's team together after the July NCAA sanctions that led to the transfer and departure of more than a dozen players.

After an outstanding freshman season in 2008, Mauti tore the ACL in his right knee during pre-season practice in 2009 and sat out the entire season with a medical redshirt. He tore the ACL of his left knee in the fourth game of the 2011 season against Eastern Michigan and missed the rest of the year.

 --Joe Juliano