In one of Saturday’s more inspirational moments, Pittsburgh running back James Conner opened the season with a rushing touchdown in his first game back since beating cancer.
Conner led the Panthers out of the tunnel against Villanova on Saturday, and opened the scoring in the second quarter of the game after bouncing outside to the left. Pitt took a 7–0 lead and notched its first points of the season. Not bad.
It has been a long ride for Conner, who injured his knee in last season’s opener and missed the entire year, and was then diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the winter. He began working out with the team two months later — while undergoing chemotherapy — and in May was proclaimed cancer-free.
Conner ran for 1,765 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2014, averaging 5.9 yards per carry.