When Virginia Tech defensive end Vinny Mihota’s knee buckled under him at the line on the play Pitt broke for 74 yards and a near touchdown at the end of Saturday’s game, things didn’t look good.

Those fears were confirmed Tuesday when the Hokies announced Mihota will miss the rest of the season, leaving No. 24 Virginia Tech that much more short-handed as it heads into Charlottesville for Friday’s matchup with rival Virginia.

Mihota, a redshirt junior, is scheduled to undergo surgery on his left knee next week. Virginia Tech did not announce the specific nature of the injury. He's the second starter to be lost for the year in as many weeks. Free safety Terrell Edmunds underwent season-ending shoulder surgery last week after the Georgia Tech loss.

“I share Vinny's disappointment that he'll miss the rest of the season," head coach Justin Fuente said in a release. "But based off last offseason, I also know no one will rehab more diligently than Vinny to get back on the field with his teammates."

Mihota, a two-year starter out of Fredericksburg, had started all 11 games this year at left end, making 24 tackles, 3½ tackles for a loss and 1½ sacks. The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder also provided help on the interior, occasionally sliding inside to play tackle.

It’s the second straight season his season has ended with an injury. A shoulder problem that plagued him throughout 2016 required surgery prior to last year’s Belk Bowl, keeping him out.

Houshun Gaines will move up to the first team in Mihota’s absence. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound redshirt sophomore from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, has 16 tackles, 3 tackles for a loss and a sack this year in a reserve role.