ECU takes major step back in 49-6 loss at Temple

The Pirates managed only 193 total yards and a single field goal in suffering its fifth straight loss to the Owls

ECU's Davondre Robinson is upended by Temple's Ryquell Armstead as he tries to put pressure on quarterback Anthony Russo during Saturday's loss to the Owls (Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

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.