UNIVERSITY PARK -- Standout senior linebacker Michael Mauti suffered an apparent left knee injury and was carted off the field in the first quarter of Penn State's 45-22 win over Indiana on Saturday at Beaver Stadium.
Mauti, considered the heart and soul of the Nittany Lion football team after showing great leadership during the Jerry Sandusky scandal, has endured two major knee injuries already in his career.
As Mauti lay on the field getting tended to by trainers, senior teammates Jordan Hill, Gerald Hodges and Sean Stanley stood nearby. The entire team then came out onto the field to offer support as he was placed onto a cart.
Mauti was not able to put any weight on his left leg as he hobbled to the cart.
As the cart drove off the field, senior fullback Michael Zordich, one of Mauti's closest friends and himself a respected team leader, walked over and spoke briefly with his friend.
"It's a bad feeling when it happens to anybody, especially a kid like Mike, who's a great player and even a better person. ... Mike will definitely be in our thoughts and our prayers," said PSU quarterback Matt McGloin, who threw for a career-high 395 yards and set the school single season record for passing yards (3,066).
"Mike's been faced with a lot of adversity in his life, and he's overcome it, and I have no doubt that he'll come back stronger than ever," McGloin added.
Mauti later returned to the sideline with crutches near the end of the game. His teammates and coaches were getting emotional after the game talking about their respect for him and how tough it was to see him get injured.
The Mirror will have more on this story later in the day.
Penn State 7, Indiana 0: The Lions put together a 91-yard TD drive, sparked by a 27-yard gain on a screen pass from Matt McGloin to Michael Zordich and 18-yard run by Zach Zwinak to the Indiana 33. The Lions faced fourth-and-3 from the 26, and to no one's surprise, Bill O'Brien elected to go for it. McGloin lofted a pass down the left sideline to Allen Robinson, who made a leaping grab over defender Brian Williams for the score with 4:26 left in the quarter.
Penn State 7, Indiana 3: The Hoosiers got their offense going late in the first quarter, ignited by a 13-yard pass from Cameron Coffman to Cody Latimer. D'Angelo Roberts went for 20 yards in two carries to move Indiana into scoring position to the PSU 24, and two plays later Coffman completed a 7-yard pass to Jamonne Chester down to the 9. The drive stalled there, and Mitch Ewald kicked a 26-yard field goal with 14:44 left in the half.
Indiana 10, Penn State 7: On the first play of PSU's next drive, McGloin threw an interception from his own 28, picked off by Antonio Marshall at the Lions' 27. Coffman kept for 7 yards on the first play, then did the rest of the damage on the drive with his arm. Indiana converted on third-and-1 from the 6 as Coffman hit Shane Wynn for 4 yards, the on the next play Coffman found tight end Ted Bolser alone in the end zone with 13:20 to go in the half.
Penn State 14, Indiana 10: Robinson made a terrific spin move to free himself and had nothing but green in front of him on a 53-yard TD pass from McGloin. On third-and-4 from the 47, McGloin hit Robinson on a receiver screen, and Robinson did a spin move past safety Mark Murphy to break free. The TD, with 8:56 left in the half, was the longest pass play of McGloin's career and longest play of the season for PSU.
Penn State 14, Indiana 13: The Hoosiers answered with a quick drive on their next series, sparked by a 32-yard pass from Coffman to Wynn down to the PSU 22. Coffman was sacked for 8 yards on the next play, and Ewald came on to kick a 44-yard field goal with 7:06 to go in the half.
Penn State 21, Indiana 13: The Lions started at their own 23 and took control on the ground with eight straight rushes. Zwinak carried the first five times, his second carry going for 19 yards, and Michael Zordich busted free for 23 yards to the Hoosier 15. On third-and-5 from the 10, McGloin threw the first pass of the drive, hitting Robinson in the end zone. Robinson made the grab despite pass interference on Marshall with 2:25 to go in the half.
Penn State 28, Indiana 13: McGloin found Jesse James for a 42-yard gain down the left sideline, putting PSU at the Hoosier 20. Two plays later, McGloin hit a wide-open Zwinak for an unusual 17-yard TD. Zwinak caught the ball and crossed the plane of the goal line, only to fumble it. The play was ruled a TD on the field and upheld on replay with 31 seconds left in the half.
Penn State 28, Indiana 19: A screen pass from Coffman to Stephen Houston turned into a 79-yard TD on the Hoosiers' first play of the half. Ewald had been 100-for-100 on PATs but missed this time with 13:04 left in the quarter. Indiana then did an onside kick, and Ewald recovered his own dribbler. The Hoosiers got to the PSU 38 before trying a 55-yard field goal. Ewald had the distance but was wide left.
Penn State 28, Indiana 22: Zwinak fumbled for the Lions, and Indiana recovered at the Lions' 47. They managed one first down and got to the 29, then Ewald kicked a 46-yard field goal with 8:34 left in the quarter.
Penn State 35, Indiana 22: The Lions converted a huge fourth-and-9 from the Hoosier 32 when McGloin found Brandon Moseby-Felder for 11 yards over the middle. McGloin then hit Moseby-Felder for 14 yards down to the 1, and Zwinak busted it in on the next play with 5:33 left in the quarter.
Penn State 42, Indiana 22: The Lions' offense continued to roll as McGloin hit Robinson for a 20-yard gain to the Hoosier 28, and Zwinak rumbled 14 yards to the 4. Zordich scored from 4 yards out on the next play with 17 seconds to go in the quarter.
Penn State 45, Indiana 22: Sam Ficken kicked a 28-yard field goal with 4:50 to play, his seventh consecutive make.