California quarterback Kevin Riley believes having to fight to retain his starting job will only make him better. Riley started all 13 games in 2009 as a junior and is 17-6 for the Bears, but he's competing this spring with Beau Sweeney and Brock Mansion for the starting job in 2010, a battle that likely won't end until the fall. "It makes you work harder," Riley said after California's controlled scrimmage Saturday. "For my last year, I want it to be the best year of my life." Riley is clearly the front-runner in the competition as Cal approaches its final two spring football practices, Tuesday and Thursday. He threw for 2,850 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2009 with just eight interceptions.
Sweeney threw just nine passes as a freshman, completing five for 45 yards. Mansion, who's sidelined with an injured foot and will undergo an MRI, threw only one pass as a sophomore, an incompletion.
On Saturday, Riley completed seven of his first eight passes for 86 yards, directing Cal's No. 1 offense against its No. 1 defense. For the day, he was 10 for 15 for 110 yards. Sweeney finished 5 for 14 for 94 yards and a touchdown, a 64-yard completion to wide receiver Marvin Jones.