Riley Set Tone for Bears

Kevin Riley started the game off very slow. On Cal's first possession Riley threw an interception when the intended receiver Best was wide open. On third-and-15, he threw a laser to Verran Tucker for a 17-yard gain that seemed to boost his confidence for the rest of that drive. Kevin hit his next three passes in a row before finding Jeremy Ross in the end zone for 22-yard score to set the tone…

The Oregon defense had to believe that the Bears' passing game could not beat them.

California has looked for players to step up and help the passing game so the offense could be a more balanced attack. The Bears have shown week in and week out that Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen can get the job done on the ground. The Ducks' defense loaded up against the run on many occasions. They were able to lay vicious hits on both Cal backs. Oregon even caused the Bears to fumble a few times – the weather also was a factor. With Oregon concentrating on the run, Cal was able to find holes in the Duck secondary and hit a number of passes for big gains to Verran Tucker, Nyan Boateng, and Jeremy Ross.

A few things stood out about the first touchdown drive that set the tone. After throwing the interception, Riley could have been looking over his shoulder for Coach Jeff Tedford to insert Longshore into the game. Coming up with two incompletions on first and second down, the third-and-15 first down conversion not only gave the Bear offense a spark, but it proved to Riley that he could get the team going in the right direction after getting off to a rocky start and being down 6-0 at home.

Before being knocked out of the game with a concussion, Riley was 7-for-12 for 80 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Nate Longshore finished the game with a solid performance going 13-for-27 with a touchdown and no turnovers. Both quarterbacks could have been a lot more efficient if the weather did not have a bad effect on the game. Cal gained just 132 yards on the ground with one touchdown. Overall, the Bears were balanced on offense. They will need a repeat performance against USC next week if they expect to win in the Los Angeles Coliseum.


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