- Austin Ward, ESPN Staff Writer
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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Short on experience at linebacker to begin with, the loss of senior Etienne Sabino will force Ohio State to deal with even less of it for about a month.
Sabino left Saturday night's 63-38 win over Nebraska with a fractured bone in his right leg, and the Buckeyes confirmed it will put the team's third-leading tackler on the shelf for this week's trip to Indiana and likely three more games after that.
Mostly a backup throughout his career, Sabino had emerged as one of Ohio State's most consistent defensive performers during the first half of the season and provided valuable leadership at a position loaded with young players -- including freshman Joshua Perry, who will start in his place Saturday.
"Tremendous blow," Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said during his Monday news conference. "He's a very good player, but it goes beyond that because he's like a brother to everybody on the team.
"We're going to miss him."
Sabino had 37 tackles, two sacks and an interception in the Buckeyes' 6-0 start. Senior starter Storm Klein now is the only upperclassman on the two-deep depth chart at linebacker.
Short on experience at linebacker to begin with, the loss of senior Etienne Sabino will force Ohio State to deal with even less of it for about a month.