Mauti injury mars Penn State's victory over Indiana
College Football Videos
UNIVERSITY PARK — Gerald Hodges summed up what his coaches and teammates seemed to be thinking when asked about the injury that has almost certainly ended Michael Mauti's Penn State career and could cloud his NFL future.
“If I had a knee to give him, I would definitely give it to him without question,” Hodges said after Penn State beat Indiana, 45-22, at Beaver Stadium despite giving up 454 passing yards. “We just hope he regroups from it.”
Mauti suffered what appears to be his third season-ending knee injury at Penn State after Indiana running back D'Angelo Roberts tried to cut block him Saturday in the first quarter.
Mauti had to be taken off the field on a cart, and when the fifth-year senior returned to the Penn State sidelines on the fourth quarter he did so on crutches.
Coach Bill O'Brien said he is not ready to rule out Mauti playing in Penn State's regular-season finale next Saturday against Wisconsin until there is a diagnosis.
What is worrisome about the injury is that it occurred to the same knee in which Mauti tore his ACL last season.
“I'm not sure the extent of the injury, but it doesn't look that great right now,” said Mike Hull, who replaced Mauti in the lineup and turned in a career-high 11 tackles as well as a sack. “I feel so bad for him for everything that has happened.”
Mauti has torn the ACL in both knees. Sustaining the injury in his left knee for a second time in two years could end any chance of Mauti being selected during the first two days of the NFL Draft.
“Michael will definitely be in our thoughts and our prayers,” Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin said. “You can't replace a guy like Mike. He's a great friend, he's a great person and he's a great player and our leader. ”
NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. said late week the only question about Mauti is his durability. And that was before his latest knee injury.
“If it wasn't for the knee injuries, then you'd probably be looking at a solid second-round pick, maybe even a late first,” Kiper said Wednesday.
Mauti entered Saturday's game as the Big Ten's sixth-leading tackler with 9.3 stops per game. He also was tied for third in the conference with three interceptions.
The 6-foot-2, 232-pounder became the face of Penn State football after NCAA sanctions threatened to bury the program in July. Mauti and other seniors helped O'Brien hold the program together.
“He was one of the guys who helped me to decide to stay, just talking with me every day, giving me confidence and telling me how much I meant to the football program,” said Hull, who considered transferring to Pitt before staying at Penn State.“I just can't believe it was him. He's such a great guy.”
O'Brien said he didn't know if the block that knocked Mauti out of the game was a dirty play.
Mauti likely won't get to run out of tunnel before next Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game, and his final send-off as a Penn State player probably came before he was carted off the field.
His coaches and teammates walked onto the field and applauded Mauti as a sign of respect.
“I've coached a Hall of Fame quarterback and Hall of Fame receivers and great players, and he's one of the most special players I've been around,” O'Brien said. “He embodies what Penn State is all about: tough, grind it out, smart. He's just a fantastic kid.”
Scott Brown is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Opportunity awaits Boykin
- Pirates showing interest in starting pitcher Masterson
- Coal industry’s decline chokes Central Appalachian towns
- NFL notebook: Jeannette’s Pryor reportedly will sign with Browns
- Despite cross-check, Pens’ Crosby expects contact in front of net
- Founder of Z&M Cycle Sales in Hempfield killed in Florida motorcycle crash
- CPR helps revive Heinz Field worker with cardiac arrest
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger remains in concussion protocol
- Seneca Valley boys soccer celebrates historic run
- Win over NA fuels Seneca Valley hockey team
- Judge in ex-Massey Energy CEO’s trial pushes jury to reach verdict