Quotes: Riley Named Starter

Cal Head Coach Jeff Tedford named sophomore Kevin Riley as the starting quarterback for the season opener August 30 versus Michigan State. Tedford made the announced after Thursday afternoon's practice...

Here are quotes from Coach Jeff Tedford and QB Kevin Riley from Thursday afternoon's practice...

Coach Tedford:

"Kevin is going to start the first game," Tedford said. "We feel like both of them have had great camps, but Kevin's going to take the first snaps and we'll see how it goes from there. Nate will play in the game; I don't know exactly when, but Kevin will start."

"We feel Kevin has had a good camp; they both have, we're confident with both of them. We feel like Kevin has the ability to make plays; we feel great about Nate's experience and knowledge and his play-making ability as well. We want to see with the roles reversed, how that works. We're looking for the best chance to be successful."

"It's so close, it's going to continual evaluation."

"When [Kevin] first went with the ones, he was a little uncomfortable, but as time went on, he did get a little more comfortable."

On team reaction: "We're talking to the team tonight about it. Today was a day of guys going on the scout team and redshirting so there were a lot of meetings and talking, so tonight at our team meeting, we'll talk about the whole situation, not just with the quarterbacks, but with everybody's role. It's important that everybody plays their role to the best of their ability."

Kevin Riley:

"I'm just getting ready for Michigan State," Riley said. "It's an honor to be named the starter, especially after what Nate's done at Cal. We're in good hands having two good quarterbacks here. I just have to prepare, watch film and get ready for this game."

"My first day with the one's was probably my worst practice at camp," Riley said. "After that, I just calmed down and stopped thinking so much and just played football. It's continued through camp and every day I feel like I'm getting better and better."

On the fact that the evaluation will continue: "I think that's going to keep us on top of it, keep us working hard. Our goal is to make this time the best possible, so that's what we're trying to do, help this team win as many games as possible."

On when he found out: "They told me right around lunch time [today]. Like I said, I'm excited to play. It's a dream come true to play in the Pac-10 and start. I just have to take advantage of it and play well."

Reaction of teammates: "Our teammates will back up whoever wins the job. They want to win. That's what it's about. They'd be behind anybody who's going to play quarterback and they're giving me support. It's another thing to keep on working for, winning for everybody."

On handling the continuing competition: "I just have to play well. I just have to out there and play football. If I'm thinking about that, I'm not going to be able to play. If you make a mistake, you just have to bounce back and play football."

On speaking to his parents: "My dad [high school coach in Oregon] was at practice so I gave him a quick word, I'll call him after this. I'm pretty sure he'll be pretty excited."

On Tedford's message about the ongoing competition: "He told me to just play football. I can't be looking over my shoulder and thinking if I made a mistake. I'm going to take that approach and just play football. Make the right reads."

On the depth at receiver: "We switched [quarterbacks playing with one's and two's] every day. You can how everybody's getting comfortable with everybody. We're starting to get everybody on the same page and I think we'll be fine. They're all great players, they can all make plays so I have to get them the ball."

On a moment he thought he won the job: "I can't say exactly if there was a moment. As the camp went on, I was making good reads and I was hitting receivers. I was completing the ball and getting first downs in situations, so I felt I had a strong chance. Like I said, Nate was doing a good job too. He's a great quarterback. I thought I definitely had a chance because I was doing my job and that's what I wanted to do."

On if he has talked with Longshore and if there is any awkwardness: "[We talked] a little bit. Nate and I are here to support each other. I have the utmost respect for that guy. The way he prepares for a game; I'm going to look up to that and try to prepare the same way he does so I'm that ready to be in the game. I'm going to look for his help and he'll look for my help if he's in the game. It's all about making the team better."


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