DK'S GRIND

Kovacevic: Conner, a football player once again, completes his climb

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James Conner stuff-arms Villanova's Rob Rolle toward his first touchdown. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

There's a temptation to suggest this was bigger than just a football game.

It wasn't, though. And that was its beauty.

"Really, after my first play, that's what it was," James Conner came back when I asked at which point Pitt's 28-7 Saturday stroll past visiting Villanova, one in which he ran for 57 yards and scored two touchdowns, felt like something significantly less than his valiant comeback from cancer. As in just a football game. "You know, coming onto the field ... it's not my first game. I know it was my comeback game, but it's all felt like regular football to me since camp."

He paused a moment.

"My battle's already won.'

Believe that.

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