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Golden Nuggets: Riley's Experience Separates Him From Mansion/Sweeney

During yesterday's scrimmage Rob Calonge was impressed by Riley's quick decision-making and sound awareness of what's happening on the field.

Much has been made of a possible quarterback controversy. If the battle for signal caller is a stock, I'm not buying it. Hands down, Kevin Riley looks poised for a big year -- if he can get a little protection. Riley came in for a two-minute drill that pitted the offense on their own 35, with 1:15 to go for the score.

On first down, the shotgun snap went off of Riley's right hand. The senior quarterback, quickly grabbed the ball from the ground, rolled a few steps to his right to avoid the rush, and found tight end Salomona Aigamaua on the sideline for zero yards. The play showed an awareness that hasn't been consistent for Cal quarterbacks since Aaron Rodgers had the helm.

Two plays later, on third and five from the 40, the ball was snapped right over Riley's head. This was the aforementioned play that Payne hurt his leg on. The ball sailed to around the 20, Riley got back there before anyone else, picked up the ball, took a few steps to his right and threw the ball away out of bounds before taking a sack.

Riley's heady plays kept the defense from getting the ball and set up a fourth and five from his own 40. It's the two-minute drill, so they go for it. Riley drops back to pass, finds that the defense has blown their coverage on Jeremy Ross, and lasers a 10-yard pass to the senior receiver on the right sideline. Ross in turn takes that pass untouched to the end zone for the score.

Going into the season, Riley has that over Beau Sweeney or Brock Mansion. Speaking of Sweeney, he got quite a bit of work with the one's on Saturday and he performed well enough, but Riley looks to be on another level -- I don't know if he's on an Aaron Rodgers level, but I was impressed enough to think it's possible by the time the season starts.

After the jump we have more scrimmage recaps, women's track defeats Stanford at the Big Meet for the first time in 10 years, baseball continues its hot streak, and more.

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