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Defense leads Oregon State to victory this time

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Defense leads Oregon State to victory this time

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) A week after Oregon State relied on its offense for a victory over Arizona, the defense helped secure the win against Washington State.

The Beavers improved their record to 4-0 (3-0 in the Pac-12) and jumped four spots in The Associated Press rankings to No. 10 after a 19-6 win at home over the Cougars on Saturday.

``Our record says we are perfect right now, and I can't argue with that,'' said Oregon State receiver Markus Wheaton. ``But we have a lot to work on. As you can see there are a lot of penalties and missed assignments.''

There were also turnovers. Sophomore Sean Mannion was 25 of 42 for 270 yards, but he threw three interceptions to kill promising drives. Add that to 11 penalties for 110 yards, and the Beavers were their own worst enemies at times.

The first half was particularly trying, with Mannion throwing two of his INTs and another drive stalling at the Cougars 24 when the Beavers failed to convert on fourth-and-2. They took a tenuous 6-3 lead into halftime.

``I'm really proud of the way our team came out in the second half,'' Mannion said. ``I think that says a lot about us.''

Led by cornerback Jordan Poyer and his three interceptions, the defense was sensational, driving Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday from the game after the second drive of the third quarter. Beavers defensive end Scott Crichton sacked Halliday's replacement, Jeff Tuel, three times.

The Cougars' ``Air Raid'' offense under coach Mike Leach was held to 207 yards passing and just 20 yards on the ground. Washington State (2-4, 0-3) had five turnovers - four interceptions and a fumble.

After wins over Wisconsin, UCLA, Arizona and the Cougars, the Beavers haven't had both the defense and offense clicking at the same time.

``We have so much potential to win every game on our schedule,'' Crichton said. ``We haven't played as a whole team yet because either the offense or defense carries us in each game. Once we finally play as a team, you guys are in for something great.''

The Beavers are 4-0 for the first time since 2002. They haven't started a season 5-0 since 1939. Even the Fiesta Bowl champions of 2000, who finished 11-1, lost their fifth game.

Oregon State travels to BYU on Saturday. These Cougars (4-2), survived a scare Friday night against Utah State, narrowly winning the battle for the Old Wagon Wheel 6-3. BYU features a stingy defense that has held opponents to under 300 yards of total offense in 12 straight games.

To play a truly complete game, the Beavers will have to end that streak. And while OSU is 2-0 on the road this season, having beaten UCLA at the Rose Bowl and Arizona in Tucson, LaVell Edwards Stadium - with an elevation of 4,600 feet and a rabid crowd - will likely be the most inhospitable venue the Beavers have seen this year.

``Man, I can't wait to put together a full game,'' running back Storm Woods said, ``and see how good we are.''

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Now the Islanders' coach, Barry Trotz explains why he left the Capitals

Now the Islanders' coach, Barry Trotz explains why he left the Capitals

DALLAS — Hours after being named head coach of the New York Islanders on Thursday, Barry Trotz made his first public comments since stepping down in Washington earlier in the week.

And, from the sounds of it, his departure was mostly a business decision.

“Yeah, obviously, I love the D.C. area,” he told reporters on a conference call. “But when it came to the business aspect, from my standpoint, I felt that it wasn’t really sincere [given] what we did together. So I decided that it was better to just move on.”

“I thank the fans,” he added. “I’m glad we could get it done. I said we could get it done in four years, and we did.”

Although the value of his contract with the Islanders has not been publicly disclosed, Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Trotz is set to earn “at least $4 million” per year—or more than twice what he was earning in Washington.

A source told NBC Sports Washington earlier this week that Trotz, who directed the Caps to their first Stanley Cup two weeks ago, sought $5 million per season for five seasons. The five-year term, that source said, was a non-starter as far as the Caps were concerned, given the relatively short shelf life of NHL coaches and the fact that Trotz had already been in Washington for four seasons.

When it became clear that the sides weren’t going to close the considerable gap between their positions, Trotz offered to step down and the resignation was accepted, making the 55-year-old a free agent.

When “I got the [counteroffer], I guess I knew it was time to go in a different direction,” he said.

In New York, Trotz replaces Doug Weight, who was fired earlier this month along with GM Garth Snow. Lou Lamoriello, a longtime NHL executive, took over for Snow and immediately started a search for a new head coach.

Once Trotz became available, it didn’t take Lamoriello to zero in on the NHL's fifth all-time winningest coach. The two met, exchanged ideas and quickly realized that they had found a good fit in one another. Trotz said he's already reached out to the Islanders' star captain, John Tavares, who could become the biggest prize on the free agent market on July 1. 

And, like that, Trotz now is the coach of a Metropolitan Division foe. The Caps and Isles will face off four times next season, beginning with a Nov. 26meeting in New York.

It’ll be weird, for sure. But professional sports is a business. And all sides involved in the Trotz saga were served a painful reminder of that this week.

Asked if he felt wanted in Washington, Trotz said: “Well, I’ll leave that up to the Caps to answer that. I think, absolutely. We just won a cup together and so I don't think that was an issue. I think it was more principle.”

In the end, Trotz wanted to be compensated like one of the top coaches in the game. And now he will, settling in behind big market coaches such as Toronto’s Mike Babcock ($6.25 million per year), Chicago’s Joel Quenneville ($6 million) and Montreal’s Claude Julien ($5 million).

“It’s good to be wanted,” he said. “It happened really quickly because you go from one emotion of winning the cup to the next emotion of leaving the team that you just won the Cup with, and you have to make some quick decisions. I know the timing of it—end of the season, the draft coming up, free agency [and] all that—there was some urgency on that. Both parties knew that, so we went to work at it and got it done.”

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Wizards’ First Round draft pick, Troy Brown is a Vegas Golden Knights fan

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Wizards’ First Round draft pick, Troy Brown is a Vegas Golden Knights fan

Uh, oh it may get awkward in Capital One Arena.

The newest draft pick for the Washington Wizards, Troy Brown is a Vegas Golden Knights fan.

Brown, who went to high school in Las Vegas, Nevada, wore a Golden Knights’ jersey on draft night.

The 18-year-old must not have known he was going to Washington, the home of the 2018 Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals. He would have known better, right? Either way, we can't hold it against him because again he's from Vegas.

It’s a good thing it only took the Capitals five games to win the Cup, otherwise, that might make it a little tense. At least he wasn’t wearing a Pittsburgh Penguins jersey right?

Ted Leonsis will get him rocking the red in no time.

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