The 2003 Insight Bowl was a post-season American college football bowl game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the California Bears at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, Arizona on December 26, 2003. The game was the final contest of the 2003 NCAA Division I-A football season for both teams, and ended in a 52–49 victory for California. Cal and Virginia Tech combined for 101 points; only the 2001 GMAC Bowl saw more points scored by two teams in a bowl game without overtime.
During the 2003 college football season, Virginia Tech accumulated an 8–4 regular-season record that included four losses in the Hokies' final six regular-season games. As the third-place team in the Big East Conference, Tech accepted a bid to the 2003 Insight Bowl. Facing the Hokies were the California Golden Bears, who went 7–6 during the regular season, tying for third place in the Pacific-10 (Pac-10).
The 2003 Insight Bowl kicked off at 8:30 p.m. EST on December 26, 2003. From the beginning of the game, it was a quick-paced, high-scoring contest. In the first quarter, Virginia Tech jumped out to a 21–7 lead courtesy of the Tech passing game, which was coordinated by quarterback Bryan Randall, who threw four touchdowns during the game. In the second quarter, California recovered from its 14-point first-quarter deficit by scoring two touchdowns. Tech, meanwhile, scored another, and took a 28–21 lead into halftime.
The offensive onslaught continued in the second half, though it was California who took the advantage at first. Bolstered by an improved defensive effort that held the Hokies scoreless throughout the third quarter, California and quarterback Aaron Rodgers scored 21 unanswered points to take a 42–28 lead into the fourth quarter. In that quarter, the Hokies clawed back into competition. Tech scored a touchdown to begin the quarter, but Cal answered with one of its own, making the score 49–35. The Hokies evened the score at 49–49 after an 80-yard touchdown drive that took less than two minutes and a punt return by DeAngelo Hall for a touchdown. The post-score Tech kickoff went out of bounds, giving the Bears possession at their 35-yard line. With time running out, Cal began to drive for a game-winning score. Cal needed just seven plays to advance 47 yards and set up a field goal attempt. As time expired, kicker Tyler Fredrickson kicked a 35-yard field goal to give California the 52–49 win.