Commentary: A Good Problem to Have

Head Coach Jeff Tedford talked about using two quarterbacks this season at the Pac-10 Media Day last month. "Both will see game time," Tedford said. Three days into fall camp both quarterbacks have showed their strengths but neither has separated him from the other. Some college programs are scrambling to find one capable starting quarterback, Cal has two…

California Golden Bear fans are intrigued by the competition at quarterback between senior Nate Longshore and sophomore Kevin Riley. The good thing about the battle for the position is that both players have proven in games that they are capable of getting the job done.

Many college football teams have talented players at the quarterback position that have not produced nor have any game experience. Teams in that situation can only speculate about what their quarterbacks can or cannot do once the 2008 season begins.

Longshore ranks second all-time at Cal in victories and fourth in passing efficiency. He passed for 2,580 yards and 16 touchdowns with 13 interceptions in 2007. He led the Bears to their 5-0 start last year and No. 2 national ranking until an injury against Oregon forced him out of the lineup. Despite the injury, he started 11 of 12 games in the regular season.

Riley only appeared in four games last season starting one versus Oregon State. He finished 563 yards passing and five touchdowns.

The California Golden Bears have two quarterbacks that have done well in bowl games. In the 2006 Holiday Bowl, Nate Longshore completed 19 of 24 passes for 235 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a 45-10 victory over Texas A&M. In the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl, Kevin Riley – in a relief role – completed 16 of 19 passes for 269 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 42-36 win over Air Force.

Having two different quarterbacks who have won bowl games in consecutive years automatically makes many teams envy of the depth Cal has at quarterback. Quite a few college programs wish they had one solid quarterback. Moreover, some programs have no idea what to expect from their starter in the first game.

The only team in the Pac-10 that has two returning quarterbacks that received significant playing time last season is Oregon State. Quarterbacks Sean Canfield and Lyle Moevao had 286 pass attempts and 147 pass attempts, respectively. Both played in the Emerald Bowl last season.

Longshore and Riley have shown they can produce and the Bears should feel good with the talent they have at the most important position on the football field. The rest of the football team has seen both players win and should feel confident that winning can continue with either player lining up behind center. Top Stories