Jahvid Best's five rushing touchdowns for Cal on Saturday overshadowed another solid outing for Bears QB Kevin Riley. The junior went without an interception for a third straight game and completed the game's biggest play—a 35-yard pass to Jeremy Ross that helped set up the winning score in a 35-21 victory at Minnesota. Riley spoke with reporters, including Sporting News' Dave Curtis, after the game.
Reporter: What happened on that big third-down play?
Kevin Riley: They were just playing their Tampa 2, and the safety stuck with the inside route. The shot was there, and Jeremy made a good play cutting inside the safety and making some yards.
Q: Do you guys feel like you need a game like this?
KR: Absolutely. I was almost glad that the situation came up where they tied it up. Last year and the year before, when a team would come back and tie it or take the lead by a touchdown, we didn't win those games. But we stayed strong offensively and defensively and came out with a win.
Q: What's different this year?
KR: Last year, people know, we struggled with the pass game at times in games like this. We'd have a game where we would run the ball well, but we'd get into pass situations, and we wouldn't be able to make plays. But we've gotten better at it, and it's made our team much better.
Q: How are things different since offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig arrived (in February)?
KR: My game has improved tremendously. Footwork, which I've worked on with Coach Ludwig, and my technique with Coach (Jeff) Tedford. With Coach Ludwig, we see eye to eye on the plays and the reads. It makes you that much more comfortable back there in the pocket and makes the game easier.