Senior Dan Collins has the inside track to be the starting quarterback when the University of Maine football team opens the season against Football Bowl Subdivision team the University of Connecticut on Sept. 1.

Collins and junior Drew Belcher are competing for the job — again. Both saw plenty of duty a year ago.

Collins completed 135 of 273 passes for 1542 yards and six touchdowns. He threw 10 interceptions. Belcher was 78 of 120 for 728 yards and four touchdowns. He was intercepted twice. He also was the team’s second leading rusher with 314 yards on 88 carries.

First-year head coach Joe Harasymiak said it is “still to be determined” who will start the UConn game but acknowledged that Collins took the majority of the snaps with the top offensive unit during Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage on Morse Field at Alfond Stadium in Orono and turned in an impressive showing.

“He played very well. He threw three touchdown passes, and he made good decisions,” said Harasymiak.

He was satisfied overall with the scrimmage.

“Each side of the ball came together at different points which was good to see,” said Harasymiak.

“The offense started slow but then developed a rhythm and put together some nice drives,” said Harasymiak. “I liked the way the offense responded after the defense made some big plays. We scored touchdowns on two of the four possessions after those big plays.”

Collins agreed that the offense didn’t generate much early, “but then we finished off some drives nicely.

“We’ve got to be better early. We have to come out with a little more energy. We did finish a couple of drives nicely,” said Collins.

“It was an up and down day,” said Belcher. “There were some highs. Some guys made real good plays. Then we had some miscues here and there.

“We have to try to stay consistent. We have to eliminate mental errors and stuff like that,” said Belcher.

Harasymiak also lauded the efforts of cornerbacks Najee Goode, a junior, and true freshman Manny Patterson.

“They made some good plays,” said Harasymiak.

Junior corners Tayvon Hall and A.J. Dawson did not play because they are nursing injuries.

Goode was the team’s 10th-leading tackler a year ago as he was in on 33 tackles including 28 solos. He also led the team in pass breakups with eight, five more than the next highest teammate. He had one interception.

Dawson was in on 24 tackles, and Hall was involved in 19.

“They made some good plays. Najee is growing into a leader for us. He has a lot of experience,” said Harasymiak. “Manny is mature for a freshman.”

Harasymiak said he is still trying to find three or four reliable safeties out of a pool of six.

Defensively, an area that needs to be addressed is tackling, according to Harasymiak.

“We have to be better, especially in the open field,” said Harasymiak. “That will come.”

One thing his defense will have to eliminate during the season is big plays, he said.

That was a problem a year ago, but he pointed out that a lot of them occurred late in the game and resulted from the defense spending too much time on the field because the offense couldn’t sustain drives.

UMaine gave up 10 touchdowns of 26 yards or more last season including six that covered at least 43 yards.

“We play an aggressive style of defense that creates a lot of one-on-ones so our guys are going to have to make plays,” said Harasymiak, who was the defensive coordinator a year ago before taking over for 23-year head coach Jack Cosgrove, who is now a senior associate director of athletics.

Three key members of the team didn’t play on Saturday: All-Colonial Athletic Association first-team defensive lineman Pat Richard, leading rusher Nigel Beckford and wide receiver Jordan Dunn.

Richard and Beckford were coming off postseason surgeries, and Dunn has had a nagging leg injury.

Harasymiak expects all three to see some action in the final scrimmage on 2 p.m. Sunday.