DENVER -- Kenneth Crawley's collegiate debut wasn't great, and it wasn't horrible.

It sure was interesting, however.

One of Colorado's heralded freshman cornerbacks, Crawley got the start and finished second on the team with seven tackles, while throwing in 38 yards on three punt returns.

He also gave up a key touchdown pass and dropped a punt that put the CU offense in a tough spot.

"I felt like I could have did better but I was kind of good with myself," he said.

Crawley fumbled a punt return late in the first quarter, but CU was able to recover the ball.

"I'm thinking touchdown first, but first things first you have to catch the ball and then make a move," he said.

That put the offense at its own 19, but CU made up for it with an 81-yard touchdown drive.

Late in the second quarter, CSU punted again, but this time Crawley wasn't out there. It was sophomore D.D. Goodson, instead. Crawley said that had nothing to do with his earlier drop.

"It was because I was tired," he said.

Although the Buffs will never know, it could have changed the game had he been back there. Goodson, who had never fielded a punt in a college game, fumbled and CSU recovered.

"I was supposed to secure it and look it in and make sure I caught it," Goodson said. "Instead I tried to catch it and run. It's really disappointing, because you know it's a mistake mentally. You could have avoided it, but it is what it is."


CSU got the ball at the Buffs' 20 and threw a touchdown pass -- to a wide-open Dominique Vinson -- on the next play. Crawley was the nearest defensive back.

"It was a call adjustment," Crawley said. "We adjusted to two different plays and guys got mixed up. It was a lack of communication. It was our fault on that one. We messed up."

Nobody expects Crawley to be perfect, of course. But, he did show in-game improvement. On the first play of the fourth quarter, he returned a punt 24 yards, setting up CU's go-ahead field goal.

"The second time I got it, I made it happen," he said.

He's hoping for better results in the future and was pleased to get his debut out of the way.

"I was kind of nervous coming out; this is my first year starting," he said. "I got that out of the way in the first half and came back.

"I've got one under my belt, so I'm definitely comfortable."

Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.