“It’s upsetting to see Kevin end his collegiate career like that,” said Cal head coach Jeff Tedford. “He has been a very strong competitor during his time at Cal and has dedicated himself to our program. He’s a great team player and has a lot of passion for Cal football. He’s provided a lot of great moments.”
Kevin Riley is among Cal’s all-time leaders in touchdown passes (50, No. 5), total offense (6,136, No. 6), passer efficiency (131.55, No. 7), passing yardage (6,182, No. 8), 300-yard passing games (2, No. 9-T) and 250-yard passing games (7, No. 10). He has completed 468-of-844 passes (55.5%), with the 50 TD passes and 21 interceptions. He has scored another five touchdowns on the ground.
Riley is 19-12 in 31 career starts at Cal, having won more games than any other active Pac-10 quarterback and equaling the 36 contests played in by Washington’s Jake Locker. Riley had a string of 11 straight games with a touchdown pass, spanning the final eight outings of his junior campaign and the first three of his senior season.
Riley started Cal’s first eight games in 2010 and has been one of the team’s game captains, completing 111-of-185 passes (60.0%) for 1,409 yards with 13 touchdown passes and six interceptions. He arguably had his strongest performance of the season in his last full game before the injury, completing 19-of-28 passes for 240 yards, with two touchdown tosses and no interceptions in a 50-17 home win Oct. 23 over Arizona State.
His best campaign statistically came as a junior in 2009 when he started all 13 games and completed 209-of-382 passes for 2,850 yards with 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions, all career highs. His passing yardage total was the fourth-highest single-season total in school history, while his 18 TDs tied for 10th. He was the recipient of the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Back honor on offense and was also voted by teammates as the Cort Majors Captains Award winner on the offensive side of the ball. Riley’s top statistical game of the season came when he completed 27-of-44 passes for 351 yards and two touchdowns at Arizona State, while also leading a late fourth-quarter drive that led to a Giorgio Tavecchio field goal and 23-21 Cal win. He also had a career-high-tying four touchdown passes (17-of-26, 298 yards) in a season-opening 52-13 victory over Maryland.
As a part-time starter in his 2008 sophomore season (nine starts, 11 games played), he completed 112-of-221 passes for 1,360 yards, throwing 14 touchdowns with six interceptions. His signature game of the campaign came in a 35-27 loss at Maryland when he completed 33-of-58 passes for 423 yards (all career highs) with three touchdowns and one interception. Riley set a single-game school record with the 58 pass attempts while the passing yardage total ranks as the fourth-highest in a game in Cal history and was the highest in the Pac-10 in 2008.
Riley burst onto the scene as a redshirt freshman in 2007 when he entered the Armed Forced Bowl early in the second quarter with a 21-0 deficit and directed the Bears to a 42-36 victory over Air Force. Riley finished the contest 16-of-19 for 269 yards, with three touchdown passes and no interceptions. His final stats for 2007 included 36-of-56 (64.3%) passing for 563 yards with five touchdown passes and one interception in four games and one start for a stellar career-best 174.63 passer efficiency rating.