Riley named Cal's starting QB

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Coach Jeff Tedford named Kevin Riley California's starting quarterback Wednesday.

Riley, a 6-foot-2, 221-pound junior who started nine games last year, beat out sophomore Brock Mansion and redshirt freshman Beau Sweeney.

"They've all played really well, and we feel very fortunate to be in a position to have three quality quarterbacks," Tedford told reporters after practice. "But, Kevin is experienced with game situations and the offense. He's been more accurate and consistent throwing the ball. It's evident by all the things going on at the line of scrimmage that Kevin is comfortable with the amount of offense that goes in every day. He's used to game-planning and does a nice job with that."

Riley has made 10 career starts at Cal. In 2008, he passed for 1,360 yards and 14 touchdowns with six interceptions.

In his first career start against Oregon State in 2007, he filled in for an injured Longshore and completed 20-of-34 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns. He also made an ill-fated attempt to run for a winning touchdown in the game's waning moments, but was tackled short of the goal line as the clock ran out, preventing the Bears from attempting a tying field goal.

If Cal had won, the Bears likely would have ascended to No. 1 in the national rankings for the first time in 56 years. That subsequently became the first defeat in a string of six losses in seven games.

Coming off the bench weeks later, Riley led the Bears to a 42-36 victory over Air Force in the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl. He entered the game early in the second quarter with Cal trailing 21-0 and completed 16-of-19 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns to earn MVP honors.

He was 3-1 starting out last season, but Tedford benched him in favor of Longshore after the Bears beat Colorado State, 42-7.

Riley stared five of the final six games, but didn't play in the Emerald Bowl victory over Miami.