The Unexpected and the Trouble With Redshirts: Cal Loses On Bonehead Play

The unexpected is always good for sports, just not for the fans of the teams on the short ends of unexpected occurrences. Today that means LSU and Cal fans. The Kentucky Wildcats upsetting the opposing felines, the Louisiana State Tigers, leaves Cal sitting pretty. Oh, but then there’s this bonehead play by the Cal stand-in QB. And a sure tie that would force OT is frittered away by failing to stop the clock. The Golden Bears become the Bad News Bears and lose by 3.

As they say, “That’s what makes a ball game.”

But redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Riley, he of the bonehead, has no Cal fans feeling sorry for him, at least not after this winner of a quote: “It’s just part of the game. I was in the middle of a play, and I thought I could make one.”

No, doing incredibly stupid things are not “just part of the game.”

Here’s what happened:

Kentucky had beaten No. 1 Louisiana State in triple overtime. Cal, ranked No. 2 in the nation, and favored to beat the unranked Oregon State Beavers, had only to do that to procur the university’s first No. 1 football ranking in 70 years.

With Cal down three and near the Beavers’ goal line, overtime was the worst outcome they expected. A field goal would be a sure thing. Then Riley, knowing he was out of timeouts made an error that let Oregon State’s 31-28 lead stand as the final score. On the 12-yard line with 14 seconds left in the game, Riley got cocky and greedy, scrambling for the end zone instead of throwing the ball away for the guaranteed OT field goal kick.

“I thought I saw some green grass in front of me,” he said. “I thought I could make a play.”

You made a play all right, a really bad one. And worse, in knocking your team from the ranks of the undefeated and costing them a once-in-70-years chance at number one, you said it was “just part of the game.”

Redshirts should be seen and not heard. And they should learn that when fate puts them on center stage, it’s not about them; it’s about their team.

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1 Response to “The Unexpected and the Trouble With Redshirts: Cal Loses On Bonehead Play”


  1. 1 Marquis Chapman October 14, 2007 at 2:38 am

    Riley was doing so well considering he was a freshman QB, but he just cracked under pressure and just lost it. I was in shock that he would make such a bonehead play. I’m even more shocked however, that Cal lost to Oregon State. That being said, who do you think is the best team in college football right now? Tell me your pick at All Talk Sports.


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