Playmaker

Sept. 13, 2003

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Recap | Final Stats | Notes | Quotes |

By Chris Purser
Ole Miss Athletic Media Relations

OXFORD, Miss. - With an 18-yard reception from Micheal Spurlock in the latter moments of the third quarter, Chris Collins prepared to place his name a little higher in the history book of Ole Miss football. The senior wide receiver tied the school record for most receptions in a career against Louisiana-Monroe with 142 for a career, joining former Rebel standout Grant Heard (1996-2000). Collins ended Saturday's game with nine receptions for 121 yards. That performance places him as one of Ole Miss' most dominant players ever to wear the Red & Blue. But that wasn't what Collins was worried about as the Rebels opened their 2003 home season with a 59-14 victory over the Indians.

"I thought about it some, but it really isn't that big of a deal to me," said Collins. "I just went out there to play my best. I wanted to go out and make plays, and I made them."

While Collins may not have been concerned about the record he is expected to break in the Rebels next game, there is no doubt about his impact on Ole Miss football. Since the arrival of Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning, Collins and the all-star quarterback have combined to form one of the most explosive duos ever to play at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium/Hollingsworth Field. And while Collins may be quick to give the credit to his supporting cast, Manning has no problems giving credit where credit is due.

"Chris is a smart player," said Manning. "He's got a natural feel for getting open and finding open areas."

Collins has given opposing defenses trouble since his arrival in Oxford in 2000, and his senior season has been no exception. Following Saturday night's game, Collins leads all Rebel receivers with 21 catches for 265 yards and two touchdowns. But that is not the only goal the Gloster, Miss., native is set to reach. Collins, who has caught a pass in 25 straight games, is set to break the career receptions record with just a single catch the next time the Rebels take the field Sept. 27. But that is not what Collins or Manning have on their minds.

 

 

"We just try to go out and play our best," Collins said. "We just happen to find each other."

And that is a scary thought for opposing defenses set to face the Rebels later this season.

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