Stanford started off the game the same way they started in 2013: a long kickoff return by Ty Montgomery. The Huskies were able to bring him down once he got into the open field to save a touchdown and put Kevin Hogan and the Stanford offense on the field. They moved into the red zone primarily through the air, with the Husky run defense holding its water. John Timu dropped a sure pick 6 on a third down, causing Stanford to settle for a field goal to take an early lead 3-0.
John Ross took the ensuing kickoff to the house, but it came back on a DiAndre Campbell block in the back, leaving the Huskies to start their drive at their own 15. The Huskies moved the ball well on their first couple of plays, but their second down play was spotted at least a yard short of where it should have been, and a Cyler Miles third down pass was knocked down at the line of scrimmage, forcing a punt.
Barry Sanders Jr gained six on first down, but the Cardinal false started to move them back, and Naijiel Hale baited Kevin Hogan into throwing to a covered receiver on third down and knocked it away to give the ball back to the Huskies after a Stanford punt.
The Huskies went backward on their first play, but after a dart from Miles to Jaydon Mickens on 2nd down to create a 3rd and manageable, he had to throw the ball away and punt back to the Tree.
Hogan started Stanford's drive with a boot on on which he picked up a first down, and followed that with a pass over the middle to Devon Cajuste. The Cardinal worked their way into Husky territory until a third down pass from Hogan to Cajuste was broken up by Budda Baker. The Stanford punt bounced into the end zone.
The Huskies' next drive started with a hold on Dexter Charles to put them in first and 20. Lavon Coleman picked up a couple of nice chunks to get to 3rd and 5, and again on 3rd down Cyler Miles threw an incompletion and punted.
Evan Hudson was whistled for a defensive hold, and the Cardinal converted a third and short and picked up another first down as the half expired.