College football season is underway and, while there might not be any Team USA athletes on the field, many can be found in the stands or glued to their TVs while cheering for their favorite school. Each week, we'll take a closer look at a big game through the eyes of a Team USA athlete or two. This week's featured matchup finds the No. 22 Clemson Tigers (1-1) traveling to face No. 1 Florida State (2-0) in Tallahassee, Florida. To prepare, we asked two Olympians, Stuart Holden and Ariel Rittenhouse, to show off their rooting interests.
College/University: Clemson University
Attending Clemson vs. Florida State when it was the Bowden bowl. Florida State came in ranked No. 1, and we beat them at Death Valley. I was hosting recruit Nathan Sturgis that weekend and we had field passes. After the final whistle, the entire crowd rushed the field and took down the goalposts, it was an amazing experience.Who is/was your favorite college football player?
C.J. Spiller - that man can run!!!What is your favorite tailgate food?
You can never beat a good ol’ fashioned tailgate hamburger with cheese!!Best tailgate memory?
At Clemson with a big group of the soccer boys grilling out and playing cornhole!
Final score prediction?
Clemson 28, FSU 20
Why do you think Clemson will win?The Seminoles came into Death Valley last year and won so we owe them some payback!!
College/University: Florida State University
What is your favorite college football memory?
My favorite memory is last year, when Florida State won the BCS Championship over Auburn. The energy of every student in Tallahassee was electric and I have never seen a bigger celebration! The game was a nail-biter, and at first it didn’t look like we were going to win - however, everyone in the whole city was behind the team and when we pulled through in the end everyone in Tallahassee went crazy.
What is your favorite tailgate food?
I love hamburgers. It's something I don’t eat often, so when I get to a tailgate and hear the sizzling of the patties on the grill … my mouth and my stomach start going crazy!
Best tailgate memory?
There is an apartment complex in Tallahassee where they used to have an open tailgate in the whole complex. One time I went there before a game, and it felt like all the students in the school were outside the complex tailgating. Everyone who lived in the complex had a tailgate set up outside their apartment and fans could just walk from tailgate to tailgate, meeting new people, eating food, and having a good time. It was tons of fun and definitely the best tailgating experience I ever had.
Final score prediction?
Florida State 38, Clemson 20
Why do you think Florida State will win?
I think Florida State is a stronger team than Clemson this year. Clemson has a lot of new guys on the team and they also had a pretty bad loss to Georgia. Florida State’s season opener was very shaky and not a good showing, and although they improved with their second game against the Citadel, they still have a lot to prove and I think they are going to bring it with this game against Clemson.