BERKELEY — Everyone seems to agree that Nate Longshore and Kevin Riley have handled their quarterback competition flawlessly. They even seem to be comparing notes on how to deal with a demotion.
In his first public comments since being replaced by Longshore as the starter, Riley sounded a lot like Longshore did when he lost the No. 1 job to Riley out of training camp.
"I'm just going to go out there and keep working every day and make the team better every day," Riley said several times during a interview after practice this week.
Now let's go back to the end of August, when Longshore addressed coach Jeff Tedford's decision to go with Riley as the starter.
"I'm just doing the same thing, focusing on getting better and improving, and focusing on doing whatever the team needs to win," Longshore said on several occasions.
Now we know what the Bears are talking about when they say team chemistry has improved this season.
Tedford gushed over the way Longshore handled losing the starting job to begin the season. He heaped similar praise on Riley.
"He handled it equally as well," Tedford said. "He was real supportive and had his head in the game."
All that being said, it's clear Riley is disappointed that he's lost the job — at least for now — that he worked so hard to earn during camp. He's more disappointed with himself than anyone else.
"I knew I could have played better," Riley said. "I was missing some throws. I would have been surprised if (Tedford) didn't do it.
"I was rushing some things. I was seeing everything clearly. I was probably trying too hard. I don't think that's the quarterback I am. You see me throw. It's not like me."
Riley started the first four games of the season before Longshore took over last week against Arizona State. Tedford said Longshore "probably" will start the next game at Arizona on Oct. 18, but added that the competition is ongoing and the two will continue to split first team reps.
"Nate went out there and did his job," Riley said. "I've showed I can go in there and play as well. We have two quarterbacks who can get it done. If Nate struggles or something like that, they might call on me to get something done. You have to be ready at all times."
Sophomore tailback Jahvid Best has been running and conditioning and should start lifting weights soon as he rehabs from a dislocated left elbow.
Tedford said Best will catch some passes Sunday and then the team will follow his progress next week before determining if he can play against the Wildcats.
Best suffered the injury on Sept. 27 against Colorado State and missed the Arizona State game.
"I'm optimistic. Is that a guarantee? No," Tedford said. "It's really important to see how he responds. He has to get his strength back. He has to be able to lift some weights. He has to be able to protect himself. He has to be able to fall to the ground. You just don't know until he starts to do it. If he's not ready to go, we're not going to risk him having a setback. That's not a sprained ankle."
Best foot forward
Big things were expected from redshirt freshman wide receiver Michael Calvin this season, but he's caught only eight passes in five games. Part of that is because of a sprained toe suffered just before the start of the season that is still bothering him now.
"Everyone has setbacks in life," Calvin said. "This is one of them. This is definitely going to make me a better player when I come back healthy."
Freshman wide receiver Marvin Jones has returned to practice after missing two games with a sprained knee. Jones is expected back for the Arizona game. ... Tedford said freshman Giorgio Tavecchio likely will continue handling kickoffs.
— Jonathan Okanes