Sabino Breaks Fibula, Out 3-4 Weeks

By Kyle Rowland on October 8, 2012 at 7:00p

As the clock wound down to 0:00 in the fourth quarter on Saturday night in a rambunctious Ohio Stadium, emotions were positive for much of the record crowd of 106,102. It stayed that way for the team as they sang “Carmen Ohio” with their arms draped around one another. 

Senior captain Etienne Sabino broke his fibula Saturday.

But the mood took on a somberness when senior captain Etienne Sabino addressed the team in the locker room following the Buckeyes’ 63-38 win over Nebraska.

“It was an emotional moment,” head coach Urban Meyer said. “This team’s getting pretty close because of guys like him.”

The reason for the mood swing was because Sabino broke his fibula. He had a plate inserted into his right leg and will miss three to four weeks. Sabino was injured during the first quarter. He’s the team’s third-leading tackler this season with 37 stops, including two interceptions and a sack.

Meyer called the injury “a tremendous blow.” But it's not just due to Sabino’s on-field capabilities. The fifth-year senior linebacker was also a great presence in the huddle and the locker room as a team leader.

“(He’s a) very good player,” Meyer said. “But it goes farther beyond that. Sabino's like a son and a brother to everybody. He's an incredible human being. I love that guy. He's hurting.”

Sabino was replaced by true freshman Joshua Perry in the base defense and Storm Klein when the Buckeyes went to nickel. Perry didn’t finish with a tackle, but Klein had seven, including a sack. Perry is listed as the starter at one of the outside linebacker positions this week with fellow true freshman David Perkins serving as his backup. Klein is the starting middle linebacker.

Perry has played in four games this season, mostly on special teams, and has recorded four tackles.

Meyer said Perry played “OK” on Saturday. A week’s worth of first-team reps should benefit him greatly for this week’s game at Indiana. 

“Very talented,” Meyer described Perry. “He’s just got to learn to release and let it go. He’s got to play better. But he’s willing and a good person and a lot of talent.”

Two more starters – safety CJ Barnett and running back Jordan Hall – could be sidelined for Saturday’s game. Barnett has missed the past three games, while Hall sat out the Nebraska game after tearing his PCL at Michigan State the previous week. Barnett’s status is more promising than Hall’s.

“If we get CJ back, I'm not sure what Coach Withers is going to do,” Meyer said. “But I know Orhian Johnson is not going to just hand that starting spot back.”

Johnson has started the past three weeks, recording five tackles and an interception against Nebraska. The pick came in the third quarter deep in Ohio State territory and all but ended Nebraska’s chances at winning.

“He's as tall, big, and fast a safety as I've ever been around,” Meyer said of Johnson. “Sometimes I'm just not sure. He's got to learn to keep playing and let loose. He's playing very well at times. He's just got to play better all the time because he's a really talented guy.”

Don't ship Braxton Miller the Heisman quite yet. 

Someone who will be present on the sideline Saturday night in Bloomington is Cardale Jones. The third-string quarterback was suspended for the Nebraska game after, what Meyer termed, a “very ignorant comment.” Meyer was referencing a tweet Jones made on Friday when he complained about attending class when he was on a football scholarship.

“We’re getting ready to play a big-time game in a great stadium and I get a bunch of text messages and phone calls, ‘Did you hear?’" Meyer said. “So we suspended him immediately for the game.

“We’ve had a good chat. He’s very apologetic. He does go to class, in case people want to check, and he's actually a hell of a kid. It kind of surprised me.”

Jones hasn’t taken a snap yet and is likely in the midst of a redshirt year, but last season Meyer raved about the work he’s done on the scout team. For the Nebraska team, he simulated the play of Cornhuskers’ dual-threat quarterback Taylor Martinez.

Meanwhile, the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback continues to put up stats reserved for EA Sports’ NCAA Football 2013. Still, his head coach refused to buy into the hype.

“It’s an honor to be mentioned,” Meyer said. “I've been to that thing and it's incredible for these kids. I don't think Braxton's a Heisman candidate right now. I think he's certainly one to watch. He's got the ability. We're only halfway through the season. In about two or three games I think you can start talking about that. I'm not talking to Braxton about it. We're trying to win some games. I think at the right time he will be a candidate if he continues to play very well.”

Miller will have an opportunity, perhaps, for his best game of the season against Indiana’s porous defense Saturday night. The Hoosiers ranked 94th in total defense and 99th in rush defense.


Comments Show All Comments

Abe Froman's picture

This is a shame.  He was having a good year and playing better each game.

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

buckeyedude's picture

He's only going to be out 3-4 weeks?
The miracle of modern medicine.



Buckeye Black's picture

Well the fibula is a supportive bone, not much weight bearing involved with it, luckily for him.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Still a shame about Sabino.  The guy was playing the best that he had in his career.
Cardale Jones deserved the suspension.  I know he doesn't play so it makes no difference anyway, but he did have the experience of Saturday night and being on that sideline taken away.  Why would you say that!?!?
What does happen if Barnett comes back?  OJ has played well in his absence.  Maybe they can find a way to have them both on the field?

Class of 2010.

Triv's picture

OJ will take over for Corey Brown at the star hopefully 

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

Urban John Simon Meyer's picture

The defense is getting beaten up pretty badly. I don't think there's enough depth to not have these absences show. I may have to reevaluate my best-case scenario for the rest of the season.

otrain2416's picture

Damn this is a huge loss hopefully some young guys can step it up. Remember 3-4 weeks is "best case scenario"

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

yrro's picture

Probably a pretty minor break.

HolyBuckeye1093's picture

Earlier today I had heard it was a tibia injury not a fibula. That sabino had a plate put in his tibia. A fibula break is much less severe than a tibia break.

SPreston2001's picture

If it was a tibia then he def wont be back in 3-4 weeks. Shame to lose him now. Wish him a speedy recovery...

smith5568's picture

I really feel for him. It is terrible to miss any part of your senior season. 

gravey's picture

This is bad.  It's probably the one position group with the least depth.  Price, Whiting, Bell gone.. Klein only sometime gone.  McVey injured out of football.  What's left in the tank? Anything other than R-Fr and Freshmen?
Wow.  That's amazing depth we once thought we had.

Silverbuck8's picture

Not to mention they will be playing a lot of nickel against Indiana and Purue, which to date leaves C. Grant on the sidelines.

buckeyedude's picture

How about any walk-ons?



BuckeyesMJ's picture

Hate to see this injury to a Sr who has been playing well. Could be a blessing in disguise. Forces the younger LB's to get some playing time. Will strengthen the team in the long run. Only game that concerns me in the next 4 wks is @ PSU.

As for Cardale Jones, he's acting out for attention. He's not playing so he's gonna cause a stir to get his name out there. "LOOK AT ME" Another one of those & we'll have another scholarship for next season!

20sider's picture

Social media is forever folks! Something that people need to learn. You post it on the web and it is instantaneous and practically permanent. Just go to class man. I understand a lot of these guys are just here for football, but in this system you have to fill the role of student and not just athlete.  /end-mini-rant.
Too bad for Sabino. I feel for the guy. Terrible to lose that much time during your senior year. Hopefully he can get back on the field before the end of the season. Time for the youngin's to step it up.


acBuckeye's picture

Hate to hear about Sabino, but anyone who thinks Johnson is a good player must not be watching the same games I'm watching. He's the worst DB I can ever remember playing for OSU. Yes he had the pick, but it was a pretty easy read and react play. Martinez was terrible against us in terms of taking care of the ball.
I'm not trying to sound so negative, I just don't understand why people think Johnson played well. He's always out of position, and got burned twice on deep passes against the Huskers. Also, like Travis Howard, he's a terrible tackler most of the time. Barnett needs to get back out there quickly, although I'm not sure how much better he is. We've been hurting at that star position badly since Jermale Hines left.

toad1204's picture

While listening to 97.1 I think they said Sabino could be a 3-4 round pick.  Hate to see this happen.  Hopefully he gets back in time for TTUN and destroys Mr. Robinson Interception.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

Larryp713's picture

I feel bad for Sabino and wish him a speedy recovery. I really think he had it going the last couple weeks, especially when we needed big plays against Sparty.
As for Cardale, I am willing to accept that tweet as a frustrated shout from a young guy who is probably still adjusting from the transition from Glendale a couple of years ago to a major university. He has had to work hard on his academics to even become eligible, so I think we can forgive this lapse of judgement as a learning experience, and I hope he gets whatever help he needs, and stays motivated to continue toward his degree.