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Football: Quick notes

–Right tackle Chet Teofilo left the game after the first series with a sprained ankle

–Backup right tackle Matt Laird left with a shoulder injury

–Jeff Tedford once again said the quarterback position will be evaluated through the week for next Saturday’s game against Oregon.

–Jahvid Best is nursing a sprained ankle, and it’s actually bothering him more than his elbow.

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.

  • John

    Ugh.

  • bearlover2468

    about the qb situation: longshore deffinatlely has the better arm, as long as it goes to a cal player, riley throws alot harder than longshore does. riley is more consistant in his passes. longshore is alot better under pressure, but riley is a playmaker. both of them are great… i think that longshore should be started because he is a senior with more experience. if he messes up, put riley in. riley will have his change to be starter in later years… he is only a sophmore, longshore is a senior. longshore is an awsome holder of the ball on punts!!!! i hope we continue to have a great season, whoe ever the qb is. rose bowl???? i hope so!!!! GO BEARS!!!! :~)

  • John

    Jahvid Best revealed after the game that he was suffering from a sprained ankle all week and that the ankle bothered him more than his dislocated elbow … Best also noted however that he felt fine physically after the gam

  • Tilden

    JO,
    What order are the bowls in this year for the Pac-10?
    1.Rose
    2.Holiday
    3.Sun
    4.Emerald?
    5.Vegas?
    6.Hawaii?
    7.Pointsettia?

    Is this the correct order?

  • milo

    Man the receivers played poorly and Riley kept over-throwing. Unfortunately he has no touch. Also Riley doesn’t manage the game as well. But hey it was a win.

  • Eric

    I am surprised at the comments about Riley. What game were you watching? Yes, he started slowly (with two drops – one by Cunningham for a TD, the other by Morrah for a first down). But he certainly improved in the second half, and both of his TD passes (throwing on the move) were great – particularly the one to Morrah, which was picture perfect. Longshore never would have stepped up into the pocket on the flea flicker. And the long pass to Ross – which was a critical play – would never have been made by Longshore.

    Most importantly, Riley managed the game with intelligence. Obviously he had no turnovers. All of his true misfires were never threatened to be picked off, unlike Craft, which is what cost UCLA. His threats to run (yeah – finally some called run plays!) took pressure off the running game, which generally did well (though we should NEVER run out of the shotgun set). Moreover, when the offense was struggling, which is did, Riley never panicked, which has been the problem with Longshore.

    This is a no-brainer. With Riley, his inexperience and the receiver’s inexperience will prevent the truly spectacular play-making (this year), but he has the game smarts to avoid making the big mistake.

    Hopefully Tedford learned the lesson…

  • Jan K Oski

    Obviously, Tedford hasn’t learned the lesson of previous years and repeated errors by Longshore. I just don’t get it. Yes, I wasn’t impressed by the offense, but Cal won, yet the offense played a decisive roll in the game at the end of it. The last part is certainly not true of the Zona game, when Nate was behind center. This continual sharing of the 1st team reps is going to hurt the team’s chance against $C as either QBs will not have enough reps to get on the same page with the WR in practice. How I a casual viewer sees this and Tedford doesn’t, blows my mind. Who here hasn’t improved themselves by repetition in one way or another? I seriously doubt Tedford “learned the (most important) lesson”, and it will hurt our Bears for this season.

    Oh yeah, add poor WR positioning towards the ball to the list of failures on offense. Do these WR even know how to use their bodies to gain advantage towards the ball?

    A win is a win, but this game didn’t give me much hope for our Bears chances against the ducks.

    Go Bears!

  • John

    The receivers did not have as many drops as last week, and most of them were incredibly hard catches to make anyway (diving Morrah and Ross plays come to mind)

  • rookie

    bearlover2468 you have got to be kidding me… your comment “longshore is an awsome holder of the ball on punts!!!!” discredits anything you say. I am sorry but have you ever seen a football game?

    JT got smart tonight and started Riley. The WR did not play well, but when have they this season? Riley gives us a chance to win, Nate gives us a chance to throw picks.

    I dont know about everyone else but it was nice tonight to see someone other than nate throw 4 int!

  • Marin Bear

    The Cal D is really coming together. The first Bruin TD was a blocked punt, following a horrible 3 and out on offense, featuring 3 straight runs up the middle (obviously no confidence in Riley). I think the second Bruin TD was set up by a long kickoff or punt return in the 4th quarter. Tyson had 2 sacks and, to me , is looking better than last year. Syd Quan is not only a great cover corner, but a superb tackler. He is our MVP and SHOULD NOT be back there returning punts!!!
    Marcus Ezeff is back to making big plays again.

    I love the D, but if the O doesn’t get consistent QB play, a healthy and reliable line, and receivers who can catch the ball, It looks like 4th or 5th place.

  • Jake

    The more I watch CAL the more disappointed I am with Tedford. It seems that whenever CAL is backed up behind the 20, all he does is call runs straight up the gut. I know with Longshore back there you wouldn’t want to throw an out and risk a pick six, but come on!! Mix in some play action or a screen sometime will you?!?

    I also think it is hypocritical how he handling the QB situation. During the ASU came, some of the commentators said he would not be pulling Nate if mistakes were made because he didn’t want his QB looking over his shoulder. He wasn’t going to put the QB on a short leash because he wanted that person to get comfortable.

    Well what do you think you are doing to Riley, Coach Ted? You name him the starter, then you pull him to give Nate a chance? Let Riley play and gain experience. For your $2 million dollar salary, you would think you could see there is no upside for Nate. And the only way Riley is going to get better is with game experience. Do your job and coach him!!! Don’t put the blame on someone else and quit trying to make Nate something he is not. CAL’s starting QB. That is Riley’s job!!!

  • vb bear

    Bearlover said the following, “longshore is alot better under pressure.” MY question to you is have you watched Nate Longshore in the 4th quarter either down by a touchdown or tied the past 2 seasons? Last season against U$C, UCLA, ASU just to name a few he blew the game with bonehead decisions. Nate completely locks onto the reciever he is throwing to and even worse does not set his feet when pressured. (see last weeks Arizona int touchdown). Riley has the charisma and confidence that Longshore lacks.

  • ho

    Wow Jake – Cal should hire you as head coach. you’ve got it all figured out.

  • BearMan2

    No, they should hire me as head coach. I would hire Jake as my offensive coordinator; he is correct, play calling is weak at best. Riley should be the starter going forward. He is OK (not very accurate) and usually does not throw picks; but Riley and the young receivers need to grow together. INTs and turnovers are death to college teams and this is the main place that gives CAL an outside chance against Oregon. If CAL can avoid turnovers and contine to create some takeaways it will be anybody’s game. If not it will be a long afternnon.

  • Jan K Oski

    Jake, According to J.O., Tedford only calls a few of the plays. If you want to take a shot at a coach on offense, it would be OC Cignetti. At any rate, the running game was doing a lot better than the passing game, so I don’t understand your frustration. I think your complaint is misdirected even more so, the O-line wasn’t impressive, again, because of injuries. Still, Cal won by 3 TDs!

    Go Bears!

  • Jethro

    Newsflash – Riley lost the starting job because he was awful against Colorado State and Maryland (except late in the game when Maryland had it wrapped up and went to the “prevent” defense).

    Nate was Nate against ASU and UAz, the only problem was that Cal couldn’t consistently run the ball against UA (like Stanfurd and New Mexico did) and Cal couldn’t stop their 2nd string running back. If Cal does either one of these things, then we probably win despite Nate’s obligatory pick-6.

    Riley was Riley against UCLA – a few drops of off-target throws, a few misreads, no real bonehead plays, and a few nice plays. The difference was the defense – they stopped the run, had 4 picks, and scored 2 TDs – and the fact that we could generally run the ball against UCLA. Nate would have won the UCLA and Az games with a running game and a good defense.

    The point is that there is not much difference bewteen Riley and Longshore, and Tedford wants to win now, not next year, so he is trying to find the best QB right now. When Riley is on, he is the better choice, but when he is not, then Nate is better. And Riley was not on for two consecutive games.

  • milo

    Jethro – nice summary. Indeed, neither QB is playing very well. The only thing I can add is if you’re going to play Riley, at least have enough sense to use his foot speed and call more play action and him roll out once in awhile. Frankly while the offense was shaky, the play calling was a little odd as well…guess that’s a chicken and egg deal.

  • DanTheCalFan

    I can not believe all the geniuses on here that either thing Longshore is better, or they are virtually the same QB with different strengths and weaknesses. All Longshore does is play well enough for Cal to be in the game, and then make a HUGE mistake contribute to Cal losses. No more Longshore- puh-leze. His performances and limited abilities have hurt Cal so much the past 2 years. It’s tired and deflating to the fans and the team.
    It’s time to let Riley play. It is time he is accorded the same opportunity that Longshore, and Joseph Ayoob have had. If he is having a terrible game or really struggling, then maybe we see Longshore- but only as a last resort. Riley needs to play to be allowed to grow. He offers the best chance for Cal to win this year. Cal needs to know what we have him for next year too.

  • Jethro

    Milo – I agree about the roll-outs/bootlegs. I think it was the Colorado State game where I was stunned to see Nate come into the game late and get 2 or 3 designed rollout/bootleg pass plays. Riley has had very few or none of these plays called for him all year.

    From what I have seen, both Nate and Riley throw pretty well on the run, so why have they not called roll outs for Riley? At least he is a real threat to run. We ran at least 1 QB draw against UCLA to take advantage of Riley’s running ability, which was nice to see. Why not more of this? All I can think of is Riley must not demonstrate the ability to throw well on the run in practice.

  • rollonubears

    Riley is 4-1 as a starter with 9 tds and 2 picks on the year.

    Longshore is 1-1 as a starter with 7 tds and 4 picks on the year.

    What more does Tedford need to see?

  • rick bruce

    Just give Reilly the job. He can move and he actually gets better in the fourth quarter. His stats would hVE BEEN MUCH BETTER BUT FOR SOME DROPPED PASSES.

  • Dustin

    I agree with Jethro’s analysis–Tedford did not just give the job to Longshore, Riley definitely lost it. He played terribly against Washington St. but we won because they are terrible. Then he played terribly again against Maryland (until, like you said, they went to prevent defense late in the game).

    Longshore played well against Arizona St. and led us to that win. Against Arizona, he played well in the first half and poorly in the second half. However, our defense completely caved in during the 3rd quarter and that loss can partly be attributed to them.

    Basically, they both have their strengths and weaknesses and neither are that good. At this point, I still think Longshore is slightly better, but Riley has a longer future at Cal so that should be factored in as well.

  • Dustin

    By the way, all you geniuses who think it’s so obvious who should start need to look a little deeper than just stats and wins vs. losses. Do you really think you are more qualified than Tedford in making that decision? There are many aspects of these quarterbacks that we do not see, such as their performance in practices and their body language and leadership skills. Tedford takes all of that into account–not just stats.

  • richard yelland

    there is one stat that Tedford definitely pays attention to. it’s one that he says is the the key…the difference between winning and losing. that’s turnover margin. when cal is plus, they win a great percentage of the time. qb interceptions are a contributing factor to the turnover margin. it doesn’t take a genius to see that Riley is winning the turnover margin vs. nate even though he has taken far more snaps.

  • Steve W

    Let’s not get lulled into thinking that Oregon is a juggernaut because they thrashed a deflated Arizona State team on the road. This is the same team that went down at home to Boise State and barely beat UCLA at home. Let’s also remember that USC dismantled them at the Colosseum three weeks ago. Cal’s defense has shown it can defend the spread as it did in Eugene last year with a far superior QB running the show. The home field edge should give Cal a win if they plus out in turnovers and keep Oregon’s front seven honest with any type of passing game. Look for plenty of screens to Best and Vereen coming out of the backfield and pray that Morrah steps up big.

  • Mike

    I am amazed at some of the comments on this message board in which people are still “stuck” and harping on the differences between Longshore and Riley at QB – - – as if THAT one position is dictating how well ( or poor ) the offense has been playing.

    If you were actually at the game on Saturday in Berkeley against UCLA and had a bit of football knowledge, you would have noticed immediately the Cal’s O-Line was having great difficulty winning the battle against UCLA’s D-Lineman. In particular, Mark Boskovich was getting blown off the line for the entire first half! He was consistently winding-up in the Cal backfield on his rear. To make matters worse, Chet Teofilo left the game with a sprained ankle, and his replacement Matt Laird was also getting manhandled. He eventually left the game with a shoulder injury.

    Forget about who is at QB.
    Our O-LINE is not where it should be at this point in the season, and it is a HUGE problem right now!