The first half between the Northwestern Wildcats and California Golden Bears literally was a tale of two quarters.
In the first quarter, the Golden Bears offense and defense was matching Northwestern pace for pace. California was limiting what Northwestern was able to do offensively and caught the Wildcats defense off-guard. Cal quarterback Jared Goff showed no signs of being a true freshman as the quarterback led an opening-drive touchdown in the first quarter.
Also in the first quarter,Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter suffered a shoulder injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the game.
In the second quarter is when the Wildcats gained the momentum from Cal. Trevor Siemen replaced Colter at the quarterback position for the Wildcats and led two scoring drives in the second quarter–one touchdown and one field goal. After two quarters of play, Sieman was 15-for-20 passing for a total of 199 yards to go along with 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
The Golden Bears, however, would narrow the lead as the second quarter concluded. Cal kicker Vincenzo D’Amato kicked a 28-yard field goal in the closing moments of the second quarter.
At half-time, Northwestern leads Cal 17-10.