CU football notes: Nu’umotu Falo trying to make most of final games with Buffs

BOULDER, CO – November 5, 2019: Nu’umotu Falo, Jr. during the CU Football weekly press luncheon on November 5, 2019. (Photo by Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Nu’umotu Falo is at that point in his college football career where he can see the end approaching.

“Coming off of a hard loss to UCLA (last Saturday), trying to lay my head to rest at night, I was just going back and reflecting on my life,” Falo, a senior linebacker for the Colorado Buffaloes, said this week. “And reflecting on the career I’ve had here and just wanting to leave here with no regrets and leave a mark here with my legacy.”

Falo and his fellow seniors have just two games left at Folsom Field, starting with Saturday’s matchup with Stanford (1:10 p.m., TV: Pac-12 Networks).

Falo is one of only six players remaining from the Buffaloes’ 2015 recruiting class, along with quarterback Steven Montez, center Tim Lynott Jr., punter Alex Kinney, long-snapper J.T. Bale and safety Lucas Cooper.

It’s been a long journey for Falo, who played as a true freshman in 2015 and even more in 2016. He was then suspended for the 2017 season for a violation of team rules and came back last year more mature, but in a lesser role as a reserve.

This season, Falo is playing a bigger role as a part of the rotation at outside linebacker. He’s made nine tackles and leads the Pac-12 with three fumble recoveries.

“It means everything to me,” he said of playing a key role as a senior. “It really means the world to me just to be able to represent the Buffs and knowing what Colorado has been though and trying to get Colorado back to the top where we belong. So I’m just really proud to represent the name on the front and on the back of my jersey and just to be able to do the best I can to get Colorado where they need to be.”

It would mean even more to Falo if he and the Buffs could stop their five-game losing streak and get on the winning track again.

“We know the team that we have, what we’re capable of and we know that winning this week would mean the world to us,” he said. “We know that it’ll stop what we’ve been trying to stop for a while, and knowing that we can move on forward with the win and feeling better about just having a W on our record.”

Taylor to Senior Bowl

On Tuesday, CU linebacker/star backer Davion Taylor accepted an invitation to play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan. 25 in Mobile, Ala.

Taylor has 49 tackles, five tackles for loss, nine third down stops and a team-leading six pass breakups this season. Playing mainly in CU’s star position, Taylor has been versatile and been asked to do a lot in CU’s defense this season.

“The volume of what he has to master from a technique standpoint is very, very high; probably more than anybody else on our entire defense,” coordinator Tyson Summers said. “So, for him to be playing at the high level that he is, it’s a real compliment to him and how hard he’s worked to be able to learn and understand the concepts that we have.”

Reunion Saturday

Stanford head coach David Shaw said he’s excited to see CU backup quarterback Blake Stenstrom on Saturday.

Stenstrom’s father, Steve, is still Stanford’s all-time leading passer and holds several other school records. Steve and Shaw were teammates with the Cardinal in the early 1990s.

“We came in as freshmen together and became friends,” Shaw said during his press conference with local media this week. “We’ve had a friendship for a long time. I remember the pictures when Blake was born. We’re at the age now where you do double takes when you see his picture. … I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I still can’t believe he’s in college.’ Steve and Lori have done an outstanding job raising all of their kids. Blake is an outstanding human being. He’s very, very smart; he’s a good football player; and I look forward to giving him a hug before and after the game.”

Notable

Bale has been nominated for the Burlsworth Trophy, which goes to the most outstanding player in FBS college football who started their career as a walk-on. … After posting 123 tackles in 2018, junior linebacker Nate Landman already has 109 this year. He’s the first CU defender with two 100-tackle seasons since Jordan Dizon (2006-07). The last Buff with three 100-tackle seasons was Matt Russell (1994-96).