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Cody Vaz handed the ball for the No. 10 Beavers

Cody Vaz handed the ball for the No. 10 Beavers

After two years spent mostly watching from the sidelines, quarterback Cody Vaz gets the start for No. 10 Oregon State this Saturday when the Beavers travel to BYU.

It will be a challenging task for Vaz, who takes over after starter Sean Mannion injured his left knee against Washington State last weekend. Mannion had helped lead the Beavers to a 4-0 start and their highest ranking since the 2001 Fiesta Bowl season.

Vaz has appeared in only five games in his career, completing six of 17 passes for 48 yards. The 6-foot-1, 198-pound junior has not played in a game since the 2010 season.

He hasn't started since high school.

``I'm not really nervous, more so excited,'' Vaz said. ``It's a great opportunity for our team. We're going into a tough place to play, a really good football team, a really good defensive team. It will be a great opportunity for us.''

OK, really, no nerves?

``I can't wait,'' he said smiling. ``I can't wait `til Saturday.''

The question is whether Vaz can lead a team that has experienced a striking turnaround since finishing last season 3-9. Coach Mike Riley said he has complete confidence in Vaz, but does have one regret.

``The only unfortunate part is that I haven't played him enough,'' he said Tuesday.

Oregon State visits Provo to face an independent BYU team that is 4-2 but facing quarterback issues of its own. Cougars coach Bronco Mendenhall announced Monday that freshman quarterback Taysom Hill is out for the season after injuring his left knee in BYU's 6-3 victory over Utah State last Friday night.

Hill was standing in for senior quarterback Riley Nelson, who missed two games with what he described as ``back fractures.''

Nelson, who has thrown for 754 yards and five touchdowns with five interceptions, is expected to play against the Beavers on Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Mendenhall learned of Oregon State's quarterback situation just before the start of practice on Monday.

``Who knows what the fallout is. You have a good offensive system in place that's very consistent from year to year. How that will be tailored all of a sudden to a new quarterback, I'm not certain,'' he said. ``We'll prepare for what we know and then adjust to what we don't know or what we see on game day. That's really the best we can do.''

Mannion's injury was a surprise, even to Riley. The 6-foot-5, 212-pound sophomore showed no sign of it during the Beavers' 19-6 victory over Washington State, when he was injured on a handoff but did not leave the game. He finished with 270 yards passing and a touchdown.

At 9:45 a.m. on Monday morning, just as the team was about to go into a meeting, the news hit.

``It was a total shock,'' Riley said. ``The doctor and the trainer came running down the hall. So I knew it wasn't good.''

Mannion is expected to have surgery to repair meniscus damage in his left knee as early as Wednesday. He will be week-to-week following the procedure.

Mannion was averaging 339.5 yards passing a game, second in the Pac-12 and sixth in the nation. He has thrown for 1,358 yards with seven touchdowns and four interceptions this season. He is sixth on Oregon State's career list with 4,686 yards.

A classic drop-back passer with a calm demeanor and a good grasp of the fundamentals, Mannion is the son of a high school football coach. He is one of four team captains for Oregon State this year.

Last season as a redshirt freshman, Mannion unseated junior starter Ryan Katz, who had started the 2010 season for the Beavers. Katz has since transferred to San Diego State.

Vaz grew up in Lodi, Calif., and played at St. Mary's High School, where he was 24-5 in two seasons as the starter. He was the Stockton Record's player of the year his senior season.

Vaz's backup going forward will be redshirt freshman quarterback Richie Harrington, a walk-on.

Oregon State has not opened a season 5-0 since 1939.

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Caps announce preseason schedule to kick off a busy week

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USA TODAY Sports

Caps announce preseason schedule to kick off a busy week

The Stanley Cup champion Caps will open their seven-game exhibition schedule on Sept. 16 season against the Bruins at TD Garden, the team announced.  

Washington will face Boston, Carolina and St. Louis twice apiece—once on the road, once at home—and the 

Canadiens one time. The game against the Habs will be played at Videotron Arena in Quebec City.

NBC Sports Washington’s preseason broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the preseason entire slate:

Date                    Opponent           Location                      Time
Sun., Sept. 16      at Boston          TD Garden                  1 p.m.
Tues., Sept. 18    vs. Boston         Capital One Arena     7 p.m.
Thurs., Sept. 20  at Montreal      Quebec City, Que.      7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 21        at Carolina        PNC Arena                  7:30 p.m.
Tues., Sept. 25    at St. Louis        Enterprise Center      7 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 28        vs. Carolina       Capital One Arena    7 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 30      vs. St. Louis      Capital One Arena     3 p.m.

Monday's announcement kicked off a busy week for the Caps.

On Wednesday, Alex Ovechkin will pick up his seventh Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Nicklas Backstrom will also be on hand for media interviews; key members of the Cup-winning team are typically in attendance.

On Friday and Saturday in Dallas, Washington will make selections in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th rounds of the 2018 Entry Draft at American Airlines Center. (Their fifth-round pick was dealt to Minnesota in the Tyler Graovac deal.)

Next Monday, many of the organization’s prospects, including this year’s picks, will report to Kettler Capitals Iceplex for the start of development camp. The schedule and roster will be announced this week.

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Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Matt Adams drop slightly but still near top in MLB All-Star Game votes

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Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Matt Adams drop slightly but still near top in MLB All-Star Game votes

The MLB All-Star Game is at Nationals Park and is now less than a month away, so let's check in on how D.C.'s top players and fan favorites are doing in the voting. 

After the first National League All-Star Game ballot update last week, Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Matt Adams were the three Nationals among the top players receiving votes. And while that's still the case, they've all dropped one position since last week. Perhaps because of the Nats' recent slump?

Opening as the No. 1 outfielder, Harper is now No. 2 in the voting with 1,002,696 tallies, behind Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis with 1,173,653 votes. They are, however, the only two outfielders with more than a million votes and 2-of-5 overall in the voting. 

Adams — who was 14th among outfielders last week — slid one spot to No. 15 with 237,165 votes.

Last week, Turner was the No. 4 shortstop on the ballot, but he has since dropped to No. 4 with 279,071 votes. He's behind San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford, Braves' Dansby Swanson, Chicago Cubs' Addison Russell and Colorado Rockies' Trevor Story — who was the one to jump Turner this time around. 

If you're a Nats fan who doesn't like these results, don't worry. You can keep voting until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and you can vote up to five times every 24 hours. Read more about how to vote for your favorite players in the MLB All-Star Game HERE

The 2018 NL-AL matchup is in Washington, D.C. on July 17.

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