He only played a little more than one half, completed just five passes and ran for a modest 42 yards. And yet that's all Donovan McNabb needed Saturday to humble the Pirates of East Carolina.
McNabb, with a helping hand from fullback Rob Konrad, guided Syracuse (3-3) to touchdowns on three of the Orangemen's first four possessions and the home team coasted to a 56-0 victory over a team that had beaten them two straight times in the Carrier Dome.
McNabb was nearly flawless, a stark contrast to the previous game, a 30-19 victory two weeks ago over Tulane. Ailing with a sore throwing shoulder, he threw four interceptions in the first half of that one, but two weeks of rest -- Syracuse (3-3) had a bye last week -- got him rolling again.
"I know a lot of people who think they haven't been seeing it lately," said Syracuse receiver Quinton Spotwood, who caught a 94-yard touchdown pass from McNabb and also scored on an 80-yard punt return. "But he's the reason why we win games."
That was never more evident than early in the second quarter. Syracuse was backed up to its own 6-yard line and McNabb faced a third-and-14 play.
All season, third down has been a problem, with the Orangemen converting a woeful 35 percent. It was not a problem this time.
McNabb calmly took the next snap, faded back about 3 yards into his own end zone, and hit Spotwood just across midfield. Spotwood outraced a defender and dove into the end zone to complete the second-longest touchdown pass in Syracuse history.
East Carolina (1-3) couldn't. McNabb also scored Syracuse's first two touchdowns, on runs of 37 and 2 yards.
Pitt doomed against Temple
PHILADELPHIA -- Elmarko Jackson ran for two touchdowns and Temple took a 17-13 Big East Conference win over Pittsburgh.
With Temple (2-4, 2-1) leading, 17-10, with 4:30 left in the game, Pittsburgh's Tray Crayton intercepted Pat Bonner's pass and returned it 53 yards to the Temple 18. After Pitt (3-2, 1-1) drove to a first down, the Owls made two defensive stops, setting up third-and-goal at the 8. Decara Burgess and Michael Tripp broke through to sack Pete Gonzalez for 12 yards, forcing a field goal attempt.
Temple won a second Big East game for the first time since joining the conference in 1991.
Dartmouth outlasts Cornell
HANOVER, N.H. -- Peter Sellers hit receiver Zach Ellis with a 22-yard scoring pass early in the fourth period to lift Dartmouth (3-0, 2-0) to a 24-20 Ivy League victory over Cornell (1-2, 1-1). The win extended the nation's longest unbeaten streak to 20 games.
Cornell took a 20-17 lead with 1:36 gone in the final quarter on a 2-yard pass from Scott Carroll to Eric Krawczyk, his third scoring catch of the day. He finished with 12 receptions for 146 yards.
Dartmouth replied with a seven-play, 65-yard drive that ended with Ellis alone in the end zone.
Cornell was the last team to beat Dartmouth, which has gone 19-0-1 since that 17-14 setback in 1995.
Colgate offense rolls
HAMILTON -- Daymon Smith rushed for a career-high 150 yards and four touchdowns to lead Colgate (3-1, 2-0) to a 61-28 rout over Lehigh (1-3, 1-2) in the Patriot League.
The Red Raiders produced a school-record total of 678 yards in offense.
Colgate's Corey Hill caught 8 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns in just over two quarters. Jarrod Bowers ran 2 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter and Brian Owens scampered 51 yards for another in the fourth quarter for Colgate.
Tulane marches over Army
NEW ORLEANS -- Shaun King threw three touchdown passes to JaJuan Dawson and Tulane (2-2) shut down the No. 2 rushing offense in the country in taking a 41-0 victory over Army (1-4).
Tulane scored its most points since a 43-7 victory over Southern Methodist in 1990. Army was shut out for the first time since a 25-0 loss to Air Force in 1991. King completed 15 of 26 for 277 yards and Dawson caught four passes for 130.
Army rushed for 131 yards, 258 less than its average.