Vols? 'Bama? Vandy? How Belmont students are getting their college football fix



No college football team?


No problem.


Although Belmont University doesn’t have a football team, students are getting creative to satisfy their college football needs.


Sophomore Blake Vaezi, a lifelong fan of the University of Alabama, attended the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium to watch his team take on the Vols.


“It was the loudest stadium I had ever been to. The crowd was shoulder-to-shoulder the whole game,” Vaezi said. “The crowd was super hyped up because all the fans actually believed they could beat us this year.”


As the Vols kicked a last second field goal, they clinched a 52-49 victory after losing 15 consecutive games in the series.


Tennessee fans stormed the field, tore down the goalposts and pure chaos ensued.

“When the field goal went in, the whole stadium went into madness,” he said. “It was an electric moment that I will remember even though my team lost.”


Some Belmont students don’t travel far for their college football, they head over to Vanderbilt University.


Proximity mixed with the chance to see Southeastern Conference competition in action are just some reasons why Belmont students often flock to see the Commodores play.


Freshman Brandon Hourigan’s experience goes beyond watching Vanderbilt compete.

Hired as a strength and conditioning intern, Hourigan is with the team for home games and often travels on the road.


“My dad ordered me to job shadow after my football season ended,” Hourigan said. “From there, I’ve been exposed to the college football experience that the fans don’t see.”


Despite Vanderbilt football occupying most of his attention, Hourigan finds joy in watching any college football game on television.


“I watch pretty much every SEC game that I can to see who we go up against,” Hourigan said. “I just love the game, so if there’s a game on, I’m usually entertained.”


Freshman Brendan O’Neill hasn’t found time to attend a Vanderbilt game, but it’s on his bucket list of things to do in Nashville.


He’s waiting for the day when an SEC powerhouse comes to town.


“I would love to see Alabama or Georgia if they come to town next year for conference play,” O’Neill said. “Any top tier SEC team would be great to see play.”


A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, O’Neill will never ignore a Duke University football game if it’s available on television in Tennessee.


O’Neill also travels back home during breaks to watch Clemson University and North Carolina State University games.


“Being in a college football atmosphere is unlike anything else,” O’Neill said. “I love being able to travel and hangout with my friends from home while getting my college football fix.”


Although Belmont doesn’t have a team of its own, some students still love and enjoy the atmosphere and exciting moments that come with college football.


Whether it’s going to a Tennessee or Vanderbilt game or cheering on a hometown team, there are plenty of options for students to experience what makes college football special.


PHOTO: Brandon Hourigan celebrates with Vanderbilt linebacker Anfernee Orji

Courtesy of Vanderbilt Athletics.

This article was written by Ty Wellemeyer.

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