In a first half filled with big plays, the Longhorns managed to match the Golden Bears' explosive offense.
After holding California to a three-and-out on its opening drive, Texas failed to convert an opportunity in Golden Bears’ territory when California stuffed senior running back Johnathan Gray on a fourth down run.
On the ensuing drive, Golden Bears’ junior quarterback Jared Goff took California 64 yards and scored the game’s first touchdown on a six-yard pass. The Golden Bears converted three third downs on the 11-play scoring drive.
The Longhorns quickly answered as redshirt freshman quarterback Jerrod Heard finished an eight-play scoring drive with a two-yard rushing touchdown. The drive was kick-started by a 45-yard completion from Heard to senior wide receiver Daje Johnson on a third-and-20.
Following the Texas touchdown, California drove the ball deep into Texas territory before junior safety Kevin Vaccaro forced a fumble that was recovered by sophomore cornerback Antwaun Davis in Texas’ end zone for a touchback.
Sparked by a 54-yard completion from Heard to Johnson, the Longhorns capitalized on the Golden Bears’ miscue with a 71-yard drive capped by a 27-yard field goal from senior kicker Nick Rose.
The Golden Bears responded with an eight-play, 75-yard drive to take a 14-10 lead. A 17-yard touchdown pass from Goff on fourth down highlighted the scoring drive.
Heard continued to make big plays on the next drive with a 33-yard scramble followed by a 43-yard completion to freshman wide receiver John Burt. Gray capped off the six-play, 94-yard drive with a six-yard rushing touchdown.
Two California drives later, senior defensive end Shiro Davis sacked Goff and forced a fumble to give the Longhorns the ball on the Golden Bears’ 6-yard line. Gray ran it in from six-yards out on the next play to put Texas up 24-14.
The Golden Bears answered with a 1-yard touchdown from sophomore running back Vic Enwere to cap a four-play, 75-yard drive.
Following California’s touchdown, Heard threw his first career interception to set the Golden Bears up on Texas' 30-yard line. On the ensuing drive, Golden Bears’ sophomore kicker Matt Anderson made a 34-yard field goal.
The Longhorns and Golden Bears enter halftime tied 24-24.