Trailing 21-20 at halftime, the California Golden Bears marched down the field to start the second half. After getting pinned deep on a kick return personal foul penalty, Isi Sofele picked up a first down on two nice physical rushes. Zach Maynard managed to drive Cal 80 yards down the field. Maynard found brother Keenan Allen for some short passes, hit Michael Calvin on an in route, and then did a shovel pass option to Isi Sofele to the outside for a 22 yard gain to set the Bears up in the red zone. But Maynard fumbled a pass on 1st and goal at the five and had to sit on it at the twelve, and then hit the checkdown C.J. Anderson. Cal had to settle for a Giorgio Tavecchio field goal (his third of the game) to give the Bears their first lead of the game.
But Washington came right back with a kickoff return by Kevin Smith, taking it 53 yards into Cal territory. Keith Price found Kasen Williams and James Johnson for big first downs, and Jermaine Kearse converted a 4th-and-1 situation when the Cal outside linebackers bit on the inside run and Kearse took it outside. But a Washington chop block penalty stalled the drive, and Washington settled for a Nick Folk field goal to retake the lead.
Cal was forced to punt on their subsequent drive. Washington had the ball at their 20 yard line to start the fourth quarter and got stuck in 2nd-and-18 and 3rd-and-12 situations. But Cal committed a personal foul penalty when Aaron Tipoti hit the helmet of Price, and then Price found the mismatch down the middle and threw it to a streaking Chris Polk for a 70 yard score and give Washington a 31-23 lead early in the fourth.