Keith Price was 16-for-29 passing for 235 yards and a touchdown pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins who finished with eight catches for 152 yards for the Huskies (5-4, 3-3 PAC-12), who snapped a six-game road losing streak.
C.J. Anderson carried the ball 22 times for 160 yards and Chris Harper had seven catches for 101 yards for the Golden Bears (3-7, 2-5). Zach Maynard went 15-for-29 through the air for 175 yards and an interception, but exited late in the fourth quarter with a leg injury.
Allan Bridgford replaced Maynard on Cal's final drive. He finished 2-for-7 for 26 yards, but converted on third down twice to keep the Bears alive. Bridgford's pass on 4th-and-5 was incomplete and the Huskies held on for the win.
There were eight turnovers in the game -- four for each side.
It was a defensive battle for most of the first half with each team finding the end zone just one time.
Sankey's 4-yard touchdown run gave Washington a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Earlier, Price found Seferian-Jenkins for a 28-yard completion to give the Huskies the ball at the Cal 14, and four plays later Sankey bulled his was across the goal line.
Cal knotted it up at 7-7 midway through the second when Harper ran it in from 14 yards out. A 13-yard personal foul penalty for roughing the passer gave Cal a first down on 3rd-and-8 and Harper ran it in on a reverse on the next play, lunging for the pylon just inside the 5-yard line for the score.
The Golden Bears added a pair of field goals in the third, one from 23-yards and another from 21-yards out, but the Huskies took the lead late in the quarter when Price found Seferian-Jenkins in the end zone for a 29- yard touchdown pass.
Price rolled out to his left and lofted it up to his big tight end, who tipped the pass up in the air before securing it on his way to the ground.
Washington added a touchdown with just over four minutes remaining to take the decisive 21-13 lead. Maynard was picked off by Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson, who returned it to the Bears' 28. Sankey punched it in from 1-yard out four plays later.
The last three Cal-Washington games have been decided in the final minute.
11/03 01:40:19 ET