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Michael Mauti injury: Penn State linebacker carted off field

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Penn State senior linebacker Mike Mauti was carted off the field in Saturday's game against Indiana after suffering an apparent knee injury. Mauti's 2011 season ended with a left ACL tear.

Rob Christy-US PRESSWIRE

The Penn State Nittany Lions were dealt a devastating blow on Saturday, when senior linebacker Michael Mauti was carted off the field in the first quarter of the Nittany Lions' game against Indiana.

While the injury wasn't confirmed, trainers put a brace on Mauti's knee before taking him to the locker room. Mauti suffered a season-ending ACL tear in the third game of the 2011 season as well.

For the Nittany Lions, it was a crushing blow to one of the Big Ten's best defenses.

Mauti leads Penn State's defense with 93 total tackles and has added 2.5 sacks and four tackles for a loss on the season. In October, Mauti, along with teammate Gerald Hodges, was named a finalist for the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation's top linebacker.

Now Penn State will likely be forced to play their remaining game-and-a-half without the heart and soul of their defense. Following Saturday's Indiana game, the Nittany Lions finish up their 2012 regular season next Saturday at home against Wisconsin.