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Football: CU Buffs focus on fun, honoring seniors in final week

University of Colorado Boulder's head coach, ...
University of Colorado Boulder’s head coach, Mike Sanford, celebrates with Tommy Brown after a CU touchdown against the Arizona State Sun Devils on Oct. 29, 2022. Sanford and Brown both grew up in the Los Angeles area. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Much of this season has been about the youth on the roster for the Colorado football team.

First and second-year players have filled important roles all season for the Buffaloes.

As the Buffs (1-10, 1-7 Pac-12) prepare for Saturday’s finale against No. 14 Utah (8-3, 6-2), however, interim head coach Mike Sanford is focusing on the veterans playing in their final game.

“I think it’s important for us as a staff, us as an entire group of players, support staff, everybody, to just rally behind these players and do everything in our power to make sure that we’re at our best,” Sanford said.

CU and the Utes will square off on Saturday at Folsom Field (2 p.m., Pac-12 Network). It’s the perfect setting for the collegiate finale, senior tight end Brady Russell said.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I was really excited that we get Utah one last time at home. It’s probably the team I like the least in the conference, which is fair; I never have beat them, so (we’ll) hopefully go change that this week. I love that it’s at home at Folsom, and with my family here and everything.”

Russell, in his sixth season, is one of several players slated to go through senior day festivities. In all, 16 players are in their final year of eligibility. A few others, including guard Tommy Brown, snapper Derek Bedell, offensive lineman Frank Fillip, safety Jaylen Striker and cornerback/kicker Mac Willis, could come back next year, but will go through senior day.

Football: CU Buffs focus on fun, honoring seniors in final week

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