The No. 9 Stanford Cardinal were ultimately victorious b y a final score to 31-28. Cal came within seven points following a fourth quarter pass from Zach Maynard to Spencer Hagan and a two-point conversion. With three minutes left in the quarter, and the rain driving down, freshman kicker Jordan Williamson nailed a 35 yard field goal that would put the Cardinal on top by ten points, and ultimately prove to be the difference in the game.
As the clock ran down, Cal quarterback Zach Maynard led the Golden Bears on a lengthy drive toward the end zone that was aided by two Stanford pass interference penalties. It took Cal nearly three minutes to make a 74 yard drive that ended with a C.J. Anderson short run for a touchdown, but poor clock management by the Golden Bears meant they would be left with only 0:14 to attempt an onside kick and try for a field goal to send the game to overtime. Unfortunately, in a somewhat anticlimactic end to such a tense game, Cal's onside kick was recovered immediately by Stanford, keeping the coveted Stanford axe safe at home in Palo Alto and giving them the win in the 2011 Big Game.