Waco, Tex. Record-setting Baylor senior quarterback Shawn Bell is done for the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, coach Guy Morriss said Sunday.
Bell was injured late in the fourth quarter of Baylor's 31-21 loss to No. 21 Texas A&M on Saturday night. He took a hard hit near the sideline after his last pass and didn't return for the final series of the game.
"He's kind of our leader over on the offensive side, and we'll miss him," Morriss said. "He operates the system well, and the kids believe in him. And he'll be missed. That's all I can tell you, sorely missed."
Red-shirt freshman Blake Szymanski will make his first career start Saturday when the Bears (4-5, 3-2 Big 12) play at Texas Tech. Baylor needs to win two of its last three games to be eligible for its first bowl since 1994.
"We'll give him a short list of things that he can operate, and we go on," Morriss said.
Bell was 241-of-383 passing (.629 completion percentage) for 2,582 yards and 19 touchdowns - all single-season school records.
The fifth-year senior ended as Baylor's career leader with 559-of-914 passes (.612 percent) with 38 TDs. He threw for more than 200 yards with a touchdown in 11 straight games, also school records.
Szymanski has played in only two games, hitting 2-of-5 passes for 42 yards and a touchdown, with an interception on the final series against Texas A&M. As a senior at Wichita Falls (Texas) Rider High School in 2004, he threw for 4,083 yards and 45 TDs.
Morriss said Bell will have surgery in about three weeks.
"It's tough for me to see him go through it because he was our best chance to get it done, to reach our goal (of a bowl game)," Morriss said. "He's the guy we felt gave us the best chance to win these next three games. That's the part I don't like."