Quarterback Troy Kopp passed for 337 yards and five touchdowns Saturday night as Pacific defeated Cal State Long Beach, 51-24, in a Big West Conference game at Veterans Stadium.
The victory vaulted Pacific, 4-5 overall and 3-1 in the conference, back into the Big West race because front-running Fresno State was upset by Utah State, 20-19. Pacific plays host to Fresno State next week. San Jose State is 4-0.
Kopp, a junior from Mission Viejo, has thrown 72 touchdown passes in his career--seventh best in NCAA history--and the way he has been playing in the last month, he figures to climb even higher. Ty Detmer of BYU leads with 105. Since being benched Sept. 21 in a 30-21 loss at Hawaii, Kopp has thrown for nearly 1,900 yards and 21 touchdowns. He entered the game as the nation's top offensive player, averaging more than 324 yards a game.
Pacific wide receiver Aaron Turner caught four passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns. It was the 11th consecutive game in which he has gained more than 100 yards receiving. Running back Ryan Benjamin, who ran for 155 yards and two touchdowns, set a school record with his eighth game in which he rushed for more than 100 yards.
Long Beach (2-3, 2-7) moved the ball well, getting 527 yards in offense, but the 49ers turned the ball over four times and had two drives stall because of penalties.
It was the sixth game in which Long Beach gave up 42 or more points.
Pacific, which gained 615 yards, scored the first two times it had the ball, with Kopp throwing touchdown passes of 20 yards to Turner and three yards to Kale Wedemeyer.