Very little that happened in the first half at Husky Stadium on Saturday night suggested what the Cal offense would do in the second half.
Quarterback Chase Garbers passed for only 32 yards in the first half, and connected with his wide receivers just once -- for six yards.
Then, in the second half, the Bears put together three scoring drives of at least 70 yards.
The last one was the most impressive -- and gave Cal a 20-19 victory in the middle of the night after a 2-hour, 40-minute rain delay and a spectacular game.
Barbers didn't throw a touchdown but when it mattered most he was calm and on target. During the final 75-yard drive that began with just 2:05 to play, Garbers was 3 for 3 for 50 yards. His last completion, a 27-yarder to Kekoa Crawford, got the Bears a first down at the 3-yard line with less than a minute left.
"I felt good going into that last drive," Cal offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin said. "I always feel optimistic and confident, no matter what the situation."
Greg Thomas won it for the Bears, kicking a 17-yard field goal with 8 seconds left.
But the moment belonged to Garbers. A winning drive in a hostile stadium against a nationally ranked team that almost never loses at home.
"We work that (2-minute) drill a lot in practice," Baldwin said. "We were on the same page with where we wanted to go with the football, with calls coming in. He executed really well."
Garbers is a naturally confident player, but could this experience strengthen that resolve?
"I don't think he needed to do that to have confidence," Baldwin said, "but yes it always helps when you go through certain moments that are tough moments and you're able to find a way to come out on top."
Cover photo by Jennifer Buchanan, USA Today