Quintin Wirginis, Pitt Panthers' leading tackler, out for season with knee injury

Pitt Panthers leading tackler Quintin Wirginis is out for the season after suffering a noncontact knee injury in practice, the school announced Wednesday.

Wirginis, the starter at middle linebacker, was hurt on Tuesday and underwent surgery Wednesday. The senior leads the team in tackles (41), tackles for loss (7), sacks (3) and forced fumbles (tied with two). His loss is a big one, especially with the Panthers (3-3, 2-1 ACC) set to play at No. 5 Notre Dame on Saturday.

"Our entire team is certainly heartbroken for Quintin," coach Pat Narduzzi said. "He was having an absolutely outstanding senior season, on and off the field, and we are very sorry it ended prematurely due to injury. Our team is one big family and we will certainly rally around him. Knowing Quintin, I have no doubt he will remain a huge influence in our locker room. His leadership will remain as valuable as ever for our program."

Wirginis had eight tackles, including a 6-yard sack, and forced a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by teammate Dane Jackson in Saturday's 44-37 overtime win over Syracuse.