WACO, Texas (AP) -- Despite some ugly moments on defense and way
too many penalties, the Baylor Bears reached their primary goal
For the first time since 2001, they have won their first two
games of the season.
Shawn Bell threw for 166 yards and two touchdowns, Jamaal Harper
returned a fumble 29 yards for a score and Shaun Rochon scampered
85 yards for Baylor's first punt return for a touchdown since 1985
in a 48-14 victory Saturday night.
"Our confidence is boosted so much," Harper said.
"It's a vital step in the goals we set for this season,"
Rochon said. "We set a goal to be 1-0, then to be 2-0. Now, we're
working on being 3-0."
The Bears haven't won their first three games in a season since
1996, when they won just once after a 3-0 start and coach Chuck
Reedy was fired. Their last winning season came the year before
A week after breaking a 24-game road losing streak by beating
SMU, Baylor had its highest-scoring first half in three years,
building a 24-7 lead in the home opener against the Division I-AA
Harper's second career fumble return for a TD and both of Bell's
TD passes -- 14 yards to Paul Mosley and 32 yards to Dominique
Zeigler -- came before halftime. Rochon's punt return in the final
minute of the game gave the Bears their most points since beating
Samford 50-12 three years ago.
Jefferson Adcock completed 17 of 34 passes for 200 yards and two
touchdowns for Samford, which won its season opener 60-7 over NAIA
Edward Waters. The Bulldogs are 0-10 against Division I-A teams.
Despite forcing three turnovers, the Baylor defense was far from
perfect. The Bears allowed four third-down conversions on Samford's
first touchdown drive, then committed two personal fouls on the
Baylor was penalized 10 times for 104 yards. That included a
personal foul facemask penalty that nullified a quarterback sack on
a third-and-12 play.
"There's probably two drives we'd like to have back," coach
Guy Morriss said. "Other than that, when we needed a play, we
seemed to come up with it."
In addition to Harper's fumble return for a score, James Todd's
diving interception in the third quarter set up another Baylor
"I was just there to pick it up," Harper said. "I had to find
the ball first. I found it, and my eyes got as big as oranges."
Colin Allred sacked Parker Gargis, the other sophomore
quarterback used by Samford, early in the second quarter. Harper
scooped up the ball and ran along the right sideline, managing to
stay in bounds after Gargis grabbed at his feet near the 10, to
make it 17-7.
"Three or four plays cause the momentum to shift," Samford
coach Bill Gray said. "We turned it over and gave Baylor a cheap
Harper's other fumble return for a touchdown was a 7-yarder when
the Bears upset Colorado in 2003 in their first Big 12 game with
Baylor appeared to have another fumble recovery in the second
quarter, but the runner was ruled down after the play was reviewed.
Adcock was sacked on the next play and the Bulldogs punted, setting
up the Bears' nine-play, 73-yard TD drive just before halftime.
Bell hit Zeigler streaking wide open down the middle for the
"Somebody forgot to cover him," Gray said. "We had the
coverage for him."
Todd dived in front of receiver Stewart Johnson at the Samford
25 midway through the third quarter. Six plays later, Brandon
Whitaker plunged in from a yard out, the last play for Bell, who
was 16-of-26 passing.
Terrance Parks finished the game at quarterback for Baylor and
threw a 49-yard TD pass to Mikail Baker in the fourth quarter. The
play was a touchdown even though defensive back Jermaine Livingston
had the ball when the two got off the ground in the end zone.
"It's a great win. We're happy to be 2-0," Morriss said. "But
I don't want our kids to think that we as coaches or them as
players can be satisfied. We just have to play with a sense of
Baylor plays its next three games on the road, with its last
non-Big 12 game Saturday at Army.
The start of the game was delayed 41 minutes by rain and