PHILADELPHIA — Anthony Russo threw for four touchdowns and Temple rolled past East Carolina 49-6 on Saturday.
Russo, a freshman making his fourth start, was 21-of-25 passing for 254 yards and was intercepted once. He threw a 24-yard TD pass to Sean Ryan and a 7-yarder to Branden Mack for a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
Isaiah Wright’s 59-yard punt return down the left sideline made it 28-0 in the second quarter and extended the Owls’ streak of scoring a nonoffensive touchdown in all six of their games this season. He caught a 19-yard TD pass for a 35-3 halftime lead.
Russo’s fourth scoring pass was a 31-yarder on a one-handed catch by Randle Jones in the third quarter.
The Owls (3-3, 2-0 American), who have won five straight over the Pirates (2-3, 0-2), outgained ECU 470-193, allowing the Pirates just 3.1 yards per catch and 2.7 per carry. Of ECU’s 76 rushing yards, 53 came on one run by backup quarterback Holton Ahlers.
The result was a major disappointment for coach Scottie Montgomery’s team, which has been vastly improved on defense this season and was coming off a dramatic last-minute win against Old Dominion a week ago.
The only bright spot for the Pirates was a 29-yard field goal by Jake Verity with 6:30 left in the first half, a score that allowed his team to extend a streak of 259 consecutive games without being shut out. The last time ECU went scoreless in a game was Oct. 4, 1997, when it suffered a 56-0 defeat at Syracuse.