Sunday, November 01, 2009

ESPN: A Defining Moment for Cal's Riley

Ted Miller

A lot has been written about California quarterback Kevin Riley. Much of it is not very complimentary.

But Riley led the Bears on a clutch fourth-quarter drive that set up the go-ahead field goal in a 23-21 victory at Arizona State. He and Cal might have turned a corner on the season. Riley was 5 of 6 for 85 yards on the 11-play drive that was capped by a 24-yard field goal with 21 seconds left from Giorgio Tavecchio, who previously had missed field goals of 34 and 39 yards. On a day when the Bears running game was bottled up, Riley completed 27 of 44 for 351 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Moreover, the Bears improved to 6-2 on the year and 3-2 in the Pac-10. They've won three consecutive games since losing to Oregon and USC by a combined count of 72-6, which featured offensive meltdowns that were largely blamed on Riley. Cal plays host to Oregon State next weekend in what could be a key game for establishing the Pac-10 pecking order. The Beavers (5-3, 3-2) withstood a second-half comeback from UCLA to win 26-19.

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