Wow, should I be surprised by this? What does it say about Nate Longshore that he didn't get the starting job.
Here's the official release from Cal ...
BERKELEY – California head football coach Jeff Tedford has named sophomore
Kevin Riley as the Golden Bears’ starting quarterback for their opener
against Michigan State on Saturday, Aug. 30 at Memorial Stadium. Tedford
made the announcement following Thursday afternoon’s preseason practice
and said that senior Nate Longshore will also play in the opener.
“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.”
Riley saw action in four games last year as a redshirt freshman, throwing
for 563 yards and five touchdowns. In the Armed Forces Bowl last season,
Riley played the final three quarters and helped the Golden Bears erase a
21-0 deficit en route to a 42-36 victory. He connected on 16-of-19 passes
for 269 yards and three touchdowns to earn game MVP honors.
“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.
While both quarterbacks alternated opportunities working with the
first-string offense throughout camp, Tedford agreed that Riley became
more comfortable as camp went on.
“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.”
Longshore ranks fourth all-time at Cal in passing efficiency (133.1),
sixth in passing touchdowns (62) and seventh in passing yardage (5,732).
He is also second all-time at Cal with 18 victories as a starting
Cal is one of just four teams in the Pac-10 with two quarterbacks
returning who have started games – UCLA (with three), USC and Oregon State
are the others. However, two of UCLA’s quarterbacks are injured and one of
USC’s has been out of action due to injury.