Mike MacIntyre had confidence in the young man who appears to be his new kicker. And then he didn't.

Late in the first half, after some deliberation, CU's head coach asked true freshman Davis Price to attempt a 54-yard field goal. While a tough challenge it also was a low-risk situation, with the Colorado Buffaloes holding a 27-6 lead in the final minute of a dominant first half against Oregon State.

Even after some inner deliberation before sending out the field goal unit, MacIntyre continued to wonder right up until the snap if he should have made another choice.

When Price blasted his first career field goal attempt through the uprights, it clearly was an inspired decision. It also was the longest field goal ever by a CU freshman.

"That was phenomenal. When he made it, I went, 'That was a smart move by me,'" MacIntyre said with a laugh. "That was a heck of a kick by Davis. I was really happy for him. He kicked off well today, too. He has a powerful leg."

On Oregon State's first play following Price's boot, linebacker Rick Gamboa returned an interception for a touchdown that gave the Buffs 10 points in nine seconds and all but put the finishing touches on what eventually became a 47-7 rout.

Thrust into the kicking competition two weeks ago when Diego Gonzalez suffered a season-ending torn Achilles at Michigan, Price had been handling kickoff duties but was given a chance at taking CU's field goals when Chris Graham had a PAT blocked for the second consecutive week after the Buffs' first touchdown Saturday.


A walk-on from Evergreen, Price wasn't even part of the travelling party to Michigan when he received a text telling him to be ready to challenge for the job the ensuing week.

Price handled six of the Buffs' seven kickoffs last week at Oregon, notching one touchback, but if his performance Saturday is any indication he likely will be handling the majority of the Buffs' kicking duties going forward. In addition to the 54-yarder, Price also connected on a 22-yard field goal while recording touchbacks on three of his seven kickoffs.

"It's great just knowing all my hard work has finally paid off," Price said. "My dad went here and all my friends go here, and being able to play in front of them at a big school like this is something I've never been able to experience. I loved it.

"I was just concentrating on trusting my technique and staying on my line," Price said. "I knew the snap from JT (Bale) was going to be on and I knew (Robert) Orban was going to get the hold down, so I just needed to trust my technique. It was a great feeling, honestly. They've seen what I can do in practice and how hard I've been working I think. I guess hard work does really pay off."

Pat Rooney: rooneyp@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/prooney07