Postgame nuggets

Some quick hits from the press room:

–It looks like running back Jahvid Best may be out for awhile. He has a dislocated left elbow. X-rays showed there isn’t a fracture, but he will have an MRI on Sunday. Coach Jeff Tedford said the team may consider taking freshman Covaughn DeBoskie out of his redshirt year, depending on how long Best is out. The team will know more about how long Best will be sidelined after the MRI. Obviously, Shane Vereen will now pick up most of the carries.

–Left guard Chris Guarnero is out for the year. Turns out he has a torn tendon in his big toe. Tedford said Guarnero will have surgery this week. Doctors said Guarnero needed to have surgery soon or risk losing use of the toe.

–Tedford hinted the team’s quarterback competition could be heating up again. He clearly wasnt’ happy with how Kevin Riley played Saturday. When asked if Riley was still the starter, Tedford said: “We’ll see.”

–Defensive end Rulon Davis has some kind of leg injury but no further details were available. He didn’t play in the second half after injuring it on the last play of the first half.

I’ll obviously have updates after practice tomorrow, especially further information on the extent of Best’s injury.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • Aaron

    More touches for FB Will, please.


    Wow, this is quite possibly one of the worst wins i have ever watched. Sloppy play and the aftermath being this, sure doesn’t feel like we won.

  • JDA

    Thanks Jonathan. Please keep us updated about Rulon Davis as well as Best. When Davis plays, our D-line attack is exceptional. When he’s out–which seems to be quite often, due to various leg/foot injuries–we’re simply not as aggressive. If both Davis and Best are lost for a while after this win, it certainly is sobering.

  • JGMD

    Anyone one else think that Tedford is over reacting to Riley’s play tonite. The rcvrs are more responsible for the lack of offense early than Riley. Longshore played well with no pressure (big lead), but to say Riley might not start against ASU?

    Would anyone pull the offensive line for their lazy play against the Terps? Or yank the offensive coordinator for calling that awful on-side kick with 7 min. to go? Riley hit a few rcvr in the hands and had them drop the balls, one would have been a TD pass.

    I just hope that this does not cause a mental collapse for the whole team. This will give them less of a identity and let the rcvrs off the hook for their sloppy play. Plus if Longshore finds himself in the spot light again the interception problems may return. He played well tonite in the backup role, he missed a few open rcvrs aswell. Riley did not have his best game. Riley threw for 400+yrds against the Terps give him some slack, and show some confidence in your QB. Maybe then the rcvrs will start to perform.

    This obsession of Tedford’s to have Longshore as the starting QB is getting distracting. I for one would have liked to have seen what would have happened last year had Tedford let Riley start after the loss to Oregon St. Longshore could have rested his ankle and came back a few games later a healthier QB.

    Just my 2 cents. WR is the position that needs the most work and retooling not QB.

  • toparchitect

    dawn it! Before getting to the heart of the PAC-10, some, if not most of the best starter is hurt. That is not good. However, The “D” play well today.

    GO Bears!

  • Mike in San Jose

    It sucks beyond measure to lose Best right now with the beef of the Pac-10 play coming up but I really do think the running game will be fine with Vereen and Slocum. Defense had some up and down but overall played well. OK…deep breath…..as afraid as I am to admit it….Longshore did look really comfortable out there. He looked pretty light on his feet as well. In Riley’s defense there were some passes that were dropped and it also helped that there were a couple of nice roll-out plays called for him when he came in. But it just seemed like NL was hitting his targets in stride. Of course by this time Cal already had a huge lead padded by the D and special teams so it was a pretty relaxed atmosphere at home. It’s not NL’s abilities or talent that worries me, it’s his nerve in the 4th qtr during big games AND TURNOVERS. Two great looking deep pass completions does NOT make up for a INT to kill the drive and shift momentum. If he can cut those INT’s to an absolute minimum then he’ll be fine. Hopefully he’s turned the corner and fully gotten past all the drama from last yr. I for one am pulling for him. Everybody needs to keep in mind that he was GREAT before getting injured up at Oregon. Kicking game….wow….umm…yeah. SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT KICKOFFS!!! That was absolutely horrible. Speaking of special teams can we please get another applause for Sydquan??!! The guy is getting just better and faster every time he touches the ball on kickoffs. Great job there. O-Line appeared to be back to their normal dominate self. Bottom line….42-7 route and we’re finding things to improve on. GO BEARS!!!

  • JSL


    I didn’t see the first half and Riley’s play, but I did see Nate play. And on 3 occassions: the touchdown he threw into traffic, the floater that got away and a forced sideline out of bounds pass, it looked like those could have been intercepted.

    I know online, almost everyone commented on it when it happened. Did it seem like it to you?

  • Pug

    I wish they would put names on the player’s backs again. I kept trying to figure out who number 47 on the defensive line was. They don’t have a 47 listed on the numerical roster.

    Who is number 47?

  • John

    Keith Browner changed his number to 47 at halftime.

  • Worried

    I’m so sad to hear about Rulon Davis. I hope we get details. Another blog said it was a broken foot. Too bad. He seems like a great kid who had an outside chance at making the NFL. Not anymore, I guess.

  • Eric

    I agree with the posts about the QB “situation.” Riley was inconsistent at the start, but there was absolutely no need during the game for either QB to make critical plays – between the dominating running game, the defense, and the sui generis special teams touchdowns, the game was over in the first half, just like Washington State.

    Indeed, in two of the four games the Bears have played this season, ANYONE could have been the QB back there and it wouldn’t have made one difference. One should not penalize Riley for that fact.

    And, in any event, Riley threw a touchdown pass and did not make any silly throws. No reason to even consider switching. With Riley, the team has been winning, and defenses have to respect his ability to scramble and/or throw on the run that they have to adjust.

    The one time this year Nate had to make throws in a pressure situation, he horribly tanked it. Anyone want to take that risk heading into the ASU game?

    If Tedford made the comments solely to motivate Riley, I can live with that. If it is to actually make a switch, I strongly question it. Only if Riley makes consistently poor decisions during the game would I make a switch (i.e., precisely what Tedford should have done last year).

  • Menlo Steve

    “This obsession of Tedford’s to have Longshore as the starting QB is getting distracting.” Amen, brother!
    After watching from the Blue Zone and then viewing the Comcast replay, Tedford’s post-game statements seem bizarre. Riley’s playmaking skills give us a chance vs SC, ASU and Oregon, so build the kid up, don’t tear him down. He didn’t fumble away two potential scoring drives. Cignetti’s play calling & receiver drops didn’t help much either. Weird flow – Def. and ST scores – makes it hard for the O to get into rhythm.
    Mop up success in a beat down does not make the case for a QB switch. I have seen 2007. Once is enough.

  • Raf

    When you have two quarterbacks you don’t have one. WE HAVE A QB PROBLEM. At the beginning of the season I felt comfortable with having a young starting kid behind center with talented experience senior as a back-up. Lets ya sleep at night. Turns out, as I’ve said before, Riley is horribly inaccurate, and Nate makes bad decisions (esp in 4th quarter). Screwed either way.

    Best being out is a small blow, won’t cost us a game. Remember when Lynch went down and everyone thought Cal was screwed? Forsett stepped in for a couple 200+ yard games. Vereen will hold it down.

    BTW did you guys catch the absolute BONE-HEAD play by Nnabuife!!? Seriously!? You’d think after seeing Desean do this on nat tv you wouldn’t see it again for a while… NOPE, again a CAL kid throws the ball away before crossing the goal line. Check the tap, he tosses the ball at the 2 yard line before getting the TD on the punt block and return.

  • Jake

    I was wondering about that play to. It looked like Nnabuife let the ball go a little early. When will thess cocky punks learn. It’s about the game, not the showboating!!

    As for Riley, I wish we would use a little more play action. I don’t see much of that at all. I know that Coach Ted’s teams are all about execution and our run game seems to be going well whoever is in. But would it hurt to add a little misdirection here and there? Keep the defense on their toes a little more.

    While it would be disappointing to lose Best for awhile, but I don’t think there will be a huge dropoff in the running attack. The air game is more of a concern to me. I hope the OC can draw up some plays to take advantage of Riley’s legs and the stable running.

    And yes, get Will in the game some more!!!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    What current Pact 10 Head Coach has never lost to a UCB team?
    Answer: I know Ty Willingham beat UCB 7 straight and I know that Pete Carroll is on 4 going on 5 after this year. However there is another answer and it isn’t Harbuagh since he has only had once change to do it.

  • Big D

    A win is a win. I don’t think Tedford will pull Riley for Nate. Riley will pick it up during this week and “earn” the start against ASU.

  • Big D

    Go Bears!

  • Big D

    ASU coming up next… Go Bears!

  • Jan K Oski

    I agree with Big D. I think people aren’t realizing that Riley is a perfectionist, and Tedford benched him, because this aspect was getting in his way of performing to expectations. Did anyone see how wide-open Young was on that dropped TD pass? Why did Riley deliver the ball at the back of the endzone? Young had created space between the DBs long before that. That’s just one example and there were more if you watch the game, again. Riley needs to let the ball fly. I guarantee he will back in there against ASU, but Longshore will get a chance, if Riley continues to sputter. This is exactly what so many people called for last year, open and fair competition. Yet, some of you are blind to the fact that Riley isn’t doing separating himself from Longshore with his last 2 performances. Forunately, our D and specific individuals are keeping this ship afloat. Unfortunately, we will need a QB to step forward to help stear the ship to the level of Oregon State.


  • toparchitect

    I think Tedford change QB is to have the second QB some chance to play, since Cal is leading 28-0 late in the third. Actually almost the secondary team was in there.

  • Calduke

    There is no quarterback controversy;
    There is a quarterback problem

  • Eric

    Jan K,

    I respectfully disagree with your assessment. Last year, Nate played on an injured ankle, which further limited his already limited mobility. It was entirely nuts for Tedford to refuse to have worked Riley into the lineup. To compare that situation to this season makes no sense.

    Looking at this season, Riley was inconsistent at the start of the Maryland game, though he obviously picked it up tremendously in the second half; for that reason alone, I entiely disagree with the notion that Riley is not separating himself from Nate based on the last two performances. A comparative game is Tennessee in 2006 – there, Nate bombed for us, and it was Ayoob who actually made enough plays that Tennessee had re-insert its starting offense and defense in the 4th quarter.

    He also was less than adequate against Washington State (other than his 27 yard scamper for a TD – you think Nate could have done that?) and Colorado State, but in both games the sui generis touchdowns in the first half of each game made the games over at half time, such that there was no need for Riley to do anything and it is impossible to judge his performance. When you are up by six touchdowns, why would you ask your starting QB to make throws. Why even risk injury?

    In any event, both blowouts gave Nate an opportunity to play meaningful minutes, which is a good thing, and I’ll admit that Nate has played well. I actually like letting Nate make competitive plays in these blowout games, because I do think it will build confidence so that if he is required to step up in a critical circumstance, he will.

    The best measure of the QBs this season has been Michigan State. Riley was not perfect, but he was damn good against a good team (which is making noise in the Big-10). Nate played two series in that game when the game was still very much on the line. The first series, Nate did ok, but then threw a horrible pass in the end zone. The second series was even worse. When the ABC announcers – who generally are the last to know anything about football – are asking why Nate would have thrown into quadruple coverage, that tells you something.

    Last point – the intangibles. Nate has consistently proven that he makes poor decisions at critical times. We all know about the 4th quarter INT/TD ratio. And remember, Nate had the benefit of three senior/junior receivers and one senior tight end last year. When Riley had that same set, he played extremely well (and I include the Oregon State game, when you consider that Oregon State last year had the best run defense in the conference).

    Riley is getting this team to win. Even with Maryland – who is now looking like a legitimate ACC contenders, notwithstanding the Middle TN State loss – Riley gave the team hope of winning.

    I do agree that if Riley makes poor decisions during the ASU game over several series, I see no harm letting Nate play a series or two. And, obviously, if Riley is hurt, Nate should play.

  • Jan K Oski

    Eric, I come on here to read long stories by JO, not other Bear fans. I do the later on one other forum, BearInsider, where that is appropriate and real dialog can take place. So, skipping most of your lengthy essay, I’ll respond to this, “Riley is getting this team to win. Even with Maryland… Riley gave the team hope of winning.” Are you serious? Cal lost to Maryland which was a team failure, but Riley didn’t pull off a win. Hope is one thing, and a Win is a completely different matter. Ask any player about hope and you might be a victim of sorts. But, I’m glad we agree that competition is a good thing. Go Bears!

  • Teff EdFord (also from Concord)

    Didn’t look like Riley was stepping into his passes, and they were off as a result. Perhaps the deal was tha if you replace a 3-yr. started in his senior season, you’d better be good, and so far, he hasn’t gotten there yet. Timing with the receivers is one thing, but it looked like his form was off. Unless he melts in practive, I think he’ll start again…Tedford probably doesn’t want to give Riley the same treatment as Nate got last year and will bench him sooner. I dind’t expect all that much this year anyway, the QB-receiver thing takes a while.

  • Woody

    Jan K:

    I’ve read your posts for 2 years now—while I’ve always questioned your football knowledge (I can’t believe some of the misinformation/misguided analysis you have promulgated from time-to-time), I didn’t know that you also set the rules for posting on this site.

  • JGMD is the MAN!

    You are so dead on re: WRs needing to man up out there, not to mention Riley needing more time after OSU in 07 but that was then. I DO like your thinking though…

    JUst wonder if anyone is wondering if the BIG GAME might be BIG this year or what? Hate saying it but Harbaugh has something going on down at the Farm…