With just under a minute left in the first half between California and Texas, the Bears were driving down the field.
After a sack of Jared Goff, a fumble by the Bears' quarterback, and the ensuing six-yard untouched run by Johnathan Gray put the Longhorns up 24-14, the Cal defense was reeling, and needed some kind of momentum.
Goff provided that.
After a 50-yard run by Khalfani Muhammad to start the drive, Goff hit Kenny Lawler on a play-action pass at the four-yard line. A stretch and a spin move by Lawler were to no avail, as he'd stepped out of bounds. With the Bear Raid running full-speed, Goff handed the ball to Tre Watson around the right edge for three yards.
At the Texas one-yard line on second-and-one, suddenly, play was stopped. Goff was livid. Weakside outside linebacker Edwin Freeman had suddenly dropped to the ground.
The replay showed that Freeman, trying to get off the field after being offsides when the Bears were about to snap the ball -- a penalty that the tempo offense is designed to create -- looked to the sideline and immediately went down to the turf, where he remained for about one minute.
The reaction on social media was unkind.
On the next play, Vic Enwere rumbled in for a touchdown, and after a 22-yard interception return on the next drive by linebacker Jalen Jefferson, kicker Matt Anderson punched home a 34-yard field goal (after missing a 44-yarder with 4:52 remaining) to tie things at 24-24.
Cal (2-0) came into the game as seven-point favorites against the Longhorns (1-1), but at halftime, Texas -- which came into the game second-to-last in the Football Bowl Subdivision in yards of offense -- had 317 yards, while the Bears had 337.
Cal's defense gave up three huge wheel-route chunk plays in the first quarter, the first two leading to a Jerrod Heard touchdown run with 5:16 left off the zone read. The third came on third-and-seven where the Bears had dropped eight at the end of the first stanza, with Heard hitting Daje Johnson for 54 yards. That drive ended in a 27-yard Texas field goal to put the Longhorns up, 10-7.
The Bears had a very difficult time keeping edge contain on Heard, and when he had time to pass, he was deadly, going 11-for-15 for 222 yards for a 184.3 quarterback rating.
Goff went 20-for-27 for 202 yards, and broke the school's career passing yardage record with his third completion of the game, on a 16-yard pass to Stephen Anderson for 22 yards. That pass led to Cal's first score, a six-yard touchdown pass to Maurice Harris, after Goff slipped away from a rush by Hassan Ridgeway, who had a hand on Goff before he slipped left and delivered a strike to Harris.
Anderson finished the first half with a team-high 47 yards on five catches. Johnson finished with a game-high three catches for 108 yards for the Longhorns.