Dan Collins will start at quarterback Saturday when the Maine football team opens its season at Boston College, Black Bears Coach Jack Cosgrove told the Portland Press Herald on Friday.

Collins once again beat out Drew Belcher after an extended competition this summer.

Collins, a junior, won the starting job over Belcher at this time a year ago. He started the first six games, with mixed results, and had his season ended by a shoulder injury in a loss at Stony Brook. Collins completed 77 of 143 passes for 908 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions. But the Black Bears went 2-4 in those starts, averaging 14 points per game.

Belcher, a sophomore, started splitting time with Collins in the third game, at Boston College. He started the final five games after Collins’ injury, winning three of them. He completed 77 of 152 passes for 740 yards, with only three touchdowns against three interceptions. But he proved to be a rugged runner, compiling 312 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

Cosgrove said he would have no further comment on his decision, saying he didn’t want to distract his quarterbacks during an important 24 hours of preparation before the 1 p.m. kickoff. The biggest remaining question will be whether Collins plays the entire game, or whether Belcher splits some snaps.

On his radio show Thursday evening, Cosgrove called the quarterback battle “a great competitive situation on our football team” and said it “was by far the hardest” decision he’s had to make between two quarterbacks in his 23 years as head coach.


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