The Ohio State Buckeyes 63-38 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday night came with a bit of a price. Linebacker Etienne Sabino will be sidelined for about a month with a broken right fibula. The injury came in the first half and Sabino had surgery on Sunday where a steel plate was inserted into his leg.
He has typically been a backup during his time with Ohio State, but this year Sabino emerged as a leader on a very young and inexperienced linebackers group. In fact, he was the only upperclassmen on the two-deep depth chart for the Buckeyes. Freshman Joshua Perry should see time in his spot against the Indiana Hoosiers this Saturday.
Head Coach Urban Meyer called the loss a tremendous blow, and said Sabino talked to the team after in what was a very emotional moment. Meyer also figured the Buckeyes would be in a lot of nickel formations this week against Indiana because of their offensive sets. If that indeed is the case, then look for Ohio State to just use two linebackers in those situations. Ryan Shazier and Storm Klein would be the two players seeing the majority of the action in those scenarios.
Sabino was third on the team in tackles with 37, behind only Shazier (59) and Christian Bryant (41). He also had two sacks, an interception, and three pass breakups. Since Ohio State is not bowl eligible in 2012 and only has six games left, if Sabino is out any longer than a month, then the rest of his season will be in jeopardy.
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