Finding Deep-Ball Chemistry Simple for Collins, Patterson

Isaiah Hole / Wolverines Wire

Finding Deep-Ball Chemistry Simple for Collins, Patterson

Football

Finding Deep-Ball Chemistry Simple for Collins, Patterson

If you haven’t noticed, Shea Patterson and Nico Collins have a connection, and it looks simple.

Collins caught his first career touchdown, a 44-yard reception, in the second quarter of Michigan’s 49-3 triumph over Western Michigan on Sept. 8.

Patterson dropped back in a play-action situation, allowed Collins to streak down the middle of the field to gain separation and delivered a strike to his top receiver at the WMU 3-yard line.

nico collins michigan wide receiver touchdown

(Isaiah Hole / WolverinesWire)

The sophomore receiver turned into the end zone, flexed and started celebrating – it was the first touchdown by a Michigan receiver in 364 days.

“I just got behind the defense, came off the ball fast, quarterback went through his reads and found me,” Collins said. “My first touchdown in the Big House. That’s one experience I could talk about forever.”

Flashback to Week 1 against Notre Dame when Collins caught a 52-yard pass from Patterson – it was longest through-the-air connection between a Michigan quarterback and wide receiver since 2012.

The pressure to form a serious connection with Patterson on the field only increased after losing sophomore Tarik Black to a foot injury before the season opener.

“Alright, time to step up. Time to fill in some shoes,” Collins remembers telling himself.

The truth behind what looks easy with Collins and Patterson’s connection is that it actually is simple. Throughout fall camp, the duo got closer every day and eventually built a perfect level of chemistry.

Patterson makes it simple for Collins because he scrambles, throws and makes plays. Collins makes it easy for Patterson by running the correct routes and catching the football.

“I feel our rhythm’s pretty good. With him, if you run the deep ball, it’s not really over, because he always scrambles out the drill,” Collins said of Patterson. “Just finding ways to find the open spot, because he’s a really explosive quarterback. He can find ways to get the ball to you.”

In Michigan’s 46-point victory on Saturday, Patterson completed 12-of-17 passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns. In two games for the Wolverines, Collins has four receptions for 110 yards and one touchdown.

“I know what to expect now,” Collins said. “I know how college football and playing for Michigan (is like).”

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