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Bears Top Kansas St., 17-3, in Big 12 Opener

Sept. 30, 2006

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WACO, Texas (AP) - Shawn Bell threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns and Baylor has consecutive Big 12 victories for the first time after beating Kansas State 17-3 on Saturday night in the 2006 league opener for both teams.

Including their 44-34 victory over Oklahoma State in last season's finale, the Bears (2-3, 1-0) have won back-to-back conference games for the first time since 1995 - the final year of the old Southwest Conference.

Baylor won its only other Big 12 openers in 2002 and 2003, and didn't win another conference game either season. The Bears are 9-72 overall in Big 12 games.

Kansas State (3-2, 0-1) lost its sixth straight Big 12 opener, and first road game for new coach Ron Prince.

Trent Shelton's 75-yard TD catch late in the first quarter put Baylor ahead to stay, and Dominique Zeigler made a leaping grab for a 7-yard score in the third quarter.

Ryan Havens kicked a 22-yard field goal later in the third quarter, five plays after Dwain Crawford intercepted a pass by Josh Freeman, the highly touted Wildcats freshman who replaced senior Dylan Meier after halftime.

Bell was 25-of-46 passing in his seventh straight 200-yard game, matching the school record set by Don Trull in 1963.

Shelton ran past defensive back Justin McKinney along the left sideline and Bell hit him in stride. The receiver raced untouched to the end zone for the longest pass play in Bell's 32 career games (19 starts).

Bell was under pressure when he threw a floater toward Zeigler, who made the leaping catch even as a defender grabbed at his jersey.



Baylor had lost all five previous meetings against Kansas State by at least 28 points, with only two offensive TDs in those games.

Yamon Figurs recovered two botched punts by Baylor in the second quarter, but the Wildcats managed only a 41-yard field goal by Jeff Snodgrass. That came after Figurs' second recovery at the Baylor 39.

But Figurs gave one back in the third quarter when he was stripped from behind by James Todd and fumbled at the end of a 68-yard pass play from Freeman. The Bears punted after getting to midfield, but got the ball back three plays later on the first of Crawford's two interceptions.

Freeman, who graduated high school early and went through spring drills, was 11-of-33 for 196 yards with three interceptions.

Meier regained his starting job in the spring and preseason camp after missing last season with a shoulder injury. But he has completed only half his passes this season, including 11 of 22 for 100 yards against Baylor.

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