PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Paul Chryst confirmed at his weekly press conference on Monday that Pitt running back, James Conner is not being ruled out for the final regular season game against Miami on Saturday.

Conner did not finish the game in Pitt’s 30-7 win over Syracuse due to a hip injury. Defensive tackle Darryl Render (ankle) and linebacker Bam Bradley (stinger) were also injured in the contest.

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“All of the guys that are injured, we’ll kind of see where they’re at today and then tomorrow will be a little more of a test against our more active practice,” Chryst said. “We will put the pads on tomorrow. Today, we don’t go pads, but we have a good feel for how they are moving around.”

The Panthers need to win on Saturday to be eligible for a bowl game and despite Miami’s 2-9 record, it could still be difficult if Conner does not play. He only rushed for 38 yards before getting injured against The Orange. However, he is the nation’s third-leading rusher with 1,600 yards and needs only one more rushing touchdown to break Tony Dorsett’s 38-year-old Pitt season record of 22.

When Conner went down, freshman Chris James stepped up and ran for more than 100 yards in the Panthers’ victory. Chryst credits his success to a combination of speed and patience.

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“I thought he had some moments where he had to be patient with it and I thought he ran really hard,” Chryst said.

Chryst said that there is a lot of value to playing in a bowl game and that his team is excited for the chance to earn that opportunity.

“Playing Miami is great motivation, it’s a heck of a football team,” Chryst said. “There is a ton of value to being able to be in a bowl, but you’ve got to earn that and right now, the best way to get there is to play well this week.”

Pitt’s game against Miami at Sun Life Stadium will begin at 7 p.m.

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