By RYAN T. BOYDrboyd@bradenton.com
TAMPA – Syracuse quarterback Cameron Dantley rolled to his left and turned to throw the football early in the first quarter. As he released the football, South Florida senior linebacker Brouce Mompremier barreled down on Dantley, hitting him in his ribs. Dantley took a breather before popping to his feet. For Mompremier, it was a sigh of relief.
On Sept. 20 in a game at Florida International, Mompremier was carted off the field after colliding with teammate Carlton Williams on a tackle. His collegiate playing days hung in the balance. At the time of the hit, he couldn’t feel his arms or legs, but the feeling returned and all exams came back negative, but the soreness lingered for weeks in his neck and shoulders. He missed the N.C. State and Pittsburgh games, and Mompremier said it was tough watching his teammates play from the sideline.
In the Bulls’ 45-13 victory over Syracuse on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium, Mompremier made his presence felt.
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“The hit on the quarterback was the best feeling,” said Mompremier, who finished with three tackles. “It was real important. I wasn’t hesitant on my first snaps, but just to get that big hit out of the way made me feel confident about the rest of the game.”
EASIEST CATCH EVER
In the third quarter, after the Bulls recovered a fumbled at the Orange 2-yard line, USF quarterback Matt Grothe hit a wide-open A.J. Love for a touchdown. The former Southeast High standout lined up out wide with no defensive back covering him. It was too easy.
“It was the easiest touchdown I’ve ever had,” said Love, who had four catches for 21 yards. “They didn’t send anybody out to guard me, so I gave Matt the signal, and the rest is history.”
For the season, Love has 22 receptions for 294 yards and two touchdowns. MOVING UP THE LIST
Grothe’s three touchdown tosses on Saturday moved him to second on USF's all-time passing list with 41 TDs. He is behind former quarterback Marquel Blackwell, who had 67 from 1999-2002. And his 11-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter gave him 22 for his career and moved him into second place, trailing former Bulls running back Andre Hall, who ended his career with 24 rushing TDs.