The Riley Era Begins

The quarterback competition is over. Coach Jeff Tedford has named Kevin Riley the starter for the August 30 season opner against Michigan State. Coach Tedford said," Kevin will start and Nate Longshore will play at some point in the game."

This is a chance for Kevin Riley to play a solid game and eventually solidify the starting position as the season progresses. It remains to be seen if Riley can build on the momentum from last season's Armed Forces Bowl and carry that over to next week's game. In the Armed Forces Bowl, Riley completed 16 of 19 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns.

What Riley demonstrated last season and throughout the last couple of weeks of camp is a strong and accurate arm. He has nice touch on his deep ball and is able to put the ball between the receiver's numbers on short and medium passes. With the pressure of the quarterback competition with Nate Longshore, Riley was able to keep his poise and make enough plays to convince Coach Jeff Tedford that he gives Cal the best chance to win.


Riley lets loose in the Bears' first scrimmage.

Last season, Riley dealt with pressure fairly well. With a No. 2 national ranking on the line, he was able to lead the Bears down the field against Oregon State and put the team in a position to tie or win the game. In the game against OSU, he passed for 294 yards and two touchdowns. In addition, he performed above average in the Armed Forces Bowl against Air Force.

Even after being named the starter Riley understands that he has a very capable player right behind him that has proven that he can produce in games.

He stated," I will not worry about making mistakes I will just concentrate on making the right reads."

That is the right attitude for Riley to have. If he is worried about being pulled from the game it's likely that he will make mistakes. Just executing one play at a time will eventually lead to a good performance for an entire game.

Teams that the Bears will face this season will not experience a drop off in play when Longshore enters the game. Most teams would be happy to see the back up quarterback, but Longshore has a lot of experience. He could start for many teams around the country.

In the last two seasons, Longshore has thrown for 5,601 passing yards and 40 touchdowns. Opposing defenses will not be thrilled to see an experienced quarterback with two Bowl victories under his belt entering the game. With either quarterback lining up behind center, defenses that face Cal will not have an easy day.

If Riley can just play a solid game and not turn the ball over the Bears should win plenty of games. Riley has the luxury of relying on an above average offensive line and a good running game. The Bears have a solid defense and should be able to provide the offense with a lot of opportunities to put points on the board.

Riley is talented, but he will not be asked to carry the offense on his back. If Riley plays solid football for now he will have plenty of opportunities to play exceptional in the future.


BearTerritory.net Top Stories