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New Canaan’s Collins set to start as TCU football’s QB

Michael Collins looks downfield during his time as the starting QB with the Rams. — Dave Stewart photo
The TCU Horned Frogs didn’t have the greatest football game on Saturday, falling to No. 9 Oklahoma 52-27, but sophomore Michael Collins of New Canaan made an impact at quarterback.
So much of an impact, in fact, that head coach Gary Patterson has named Collins TCU’s starting quarterback for its road game against Kansas at 2 p.m., Saturday. Collins is taking over for Shawn Robinson, who is having season-ending surgery.
Collins, who  entered the game against Oklahoma with TCU trailing 28-7 and 8:19 remaining in the first half, led the Frogs (3-4) to 17 unanswered points over three drives, closing the gap to 28-24 by halftime.
The Sooners (6-1) ended the threat in the second half, outscoring TCU 24-3 to win going away.
Collins finished with a 7-for-17 passing performance for 142 yards. That included TD strikes of 41 yards to KaVontae Turpin and 33 yards to Jalen Reagor. He also threw one pick and rushed seven times for 40 yards.
“Coach (Sonny) Cumbie always has us prepared,” Collins told gofrogs.com after the game. “He tells us to stay ready for your moment because you never know when your number will be called. Just go in and do your job. Unfortunately, we came up short. We just have to keep our head up and keep going.”
“I don’t know what it was, but we obviously scored points when he came in, and that’s what their job is,” TCU head coach Gary Patterson said. “I’m not going to make it a quarterback controversy. I thought he came in managed the ball game pretty good for a guy who hadn’t been in very much, and that’s a high-level team he played against. I would probably tell you he did well. I’d probably take back that last interception.”
For the season, Collins is 13-for-31 passing for 247 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception. His QB rating is 134.35.
While at New Canaan, Collins led the Rams to three state championships and set a state record with 54 touchdown passes during his senior season.
He started his college career at UPenn before transferring to TCU to play alongside former Ram teammate Lucas Niang, an offensive lineman.
“It’s a great example for all our kids in the high school to see how someone like Michael, who’s not only a great student and a great athlete, but a great person, puts in the hard work to get where he is,” New Canaan head coach Lou Marinelli said. “He could have stayed at Penn and been a 30-game starter in the Ivy League, but this is what he wanted.”
The Frogs trailed the Sooners by three touchdowns in the second quarter when Collins entered last weekend’s game. His first pass was a 12-yard connection to Turpin and after an incomplete pass, he then threw a TD to Turpin. The drive covered 53 yards on just three plays.
“(The touchdown) helped,” Collins said. “The guys that I have around me helps boost my confidence. Any time they have the ball they can take it and be gone.”
The TCU defense forced a punt and Turpin returned the kick 25 yards to the Oklahoma 33-yard line. This time, Collins found the end zone on one play, hitting Reagor for the score.
On Collins’ third drive, the Frogs tacked on three points with a 41-yard field goal by Cole Bunce, making it a four-point game at halftime. The Sooners, however, controlled the game in the second half to get the victory.
For Collins, having the opportunity to play at the Div. I level has been a long time coming.
“He’s a gym rat. He was always down watching film, and he’s doing the same thing down there,” Marinelli said. He’s always trying to get better and he is so focused on this. He was going to keep on working.”
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