Cal WRs need to do Morrah

September, 3, 2008
9/03/08
3:59
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

A lot went well for California in its 38-31 win over Michigan State.

The defense held the Spartans to just 81 yards rushing, while two Bears, Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen, eclipsed 100 yards on the ground.

QB Kevin Riley completed 71 percent of his passes with two TDs and no interceptions.

And he found a go-to pass catcher.

The only problem: That receiver is a tight end -- Cameron Morrah -- who hauled in five passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.

Morrah, Best and Vereen, in fact, caught 14 of the Bears' 20 completions. The green receiving corps only corralled five, four going to sixth-year senior Sean Young.

Meanwhile, the touted youngsters -- Michael Calvin, Nyan Boateng and Jeremy Ross -- were shut out (Calvin saw scant action because of a toe injury). Boateng, a transfer from Florida, had a couple of drops.

"Obviously, we had three great receivers leave [DeSean Jackson, Lavelle Hawkins and Robert Jordan]," said LeReylle Cunningham, whose single reception for six yards led the other wideouts. "Playing behind them, we didn't get a lot of playing time."

Of problems to have, this is hardly one to inspire wide-spread consternation after a nice win. Coach Jeff Tedford said he has no worries about his receivers.

"By no means are we not throwing the ball to our receivers because we're afraid of their inexperience," he said during his news conference Tuesday.

The WRs should improve as they get more comfortable and confident. And Vereen and Best both can operate as multi-purpose threats who line up wide as well as in the backfield.

And if the running game keeps punching up 203 yards, who needs to throw?

"I'd give those guys as many carries as possible and hopefully they can do their thing with the line doing their job as well," Riley said.

Still, at some point the Bears are going to want to -- or need to -- air it out. It's a good bet that defenses are going to pay more attention to Morrah, starting Saturday at Washington State.

"I know they are going to key on me," Morrah said.

That means at least one of the new wideouts is going to need to step up.

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