Panthers look to bounce back against Akron

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pitt sophomore running back James Conner leads the nation in rushing.

The Panthers will lean on him heavily Saturday when they face Akron.

Pitt (3-1) is coming off a 24-20 loss to Iowa last weekend, a game in which the Panthers blew a 10-point lead. Conner ran for 155 yards and a touchdown but had just 23 yards over the final 29 minutes as the Hawkeyes rallied.

Conner says he misread a handful of plays trying to bounce it outside rather than run straight ahead. He called it part of the learning process.

The Zips (1-2) have lost two straight and have scored just two touchdowns in the last eight quarters. Coach Terry Bowden says his team needs to do a better job on the ground. Akron is 119th in the country in rushing, averaging 91 yards a game.

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