PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Despite a couple of average games, Pitt tailback James Conner is still fifth in Division 1 rushing yardage and the sophomore said today he will play some at defensive end Thursday night against Virginia Tech.

Conner and Head Coach Paul Chryst have said since training camp that Conner would get a look there, however he has only played offense to this point in the season.

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Conner said that won’t change how he plays running back, that he’s even more determined following a three game losing streak.

“Very few times will you get a safety that likes to come downhill and have a collision,” Conner said of the expected physical play of Virginia Tech. “So with those guys, if you make them feel it, they won’t do it for 60 minutes.”

Conner said they used the weekend off to help some guys who need to focus on the real reason they are at Pitt. Conner saying of Thursday’s match-up, “it’s nice that it’s prime-time, but we just want to get back in the win column. The last couple weeks have been ridiculous. It doesn’t matter if we’re on ESPN or not, it’s a must win. We need the victory.”

“Just 1-1 in ACC play, our goal is still attainable” Conner said. “Our record doesn’t look too great right now, but we still have a goal to achieve and we’re going to do our best to do that.”

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Panthers haven’t played since losing at Virginia on Oct. 4 and Conner says the team still believes in their plan, and how do to it.

“We know our plays work and we just have to execute,” Conner said. “We try to be consistent and not everything is going to go your way. You know our plays work and everybody needs to do a better job of executing.”

Bisnowaty Back

Sophomore offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty will return to the starting lineup Thursday after missing the Virginia game for breaking team rules. Bisnowaty started the other five games this year and started eight games as a freshman last season.

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