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Kevin Hogan is No. 16 Stanford's new starting QB

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Kevin Hogan is No. 16 Stanford's new starting QB

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Even though Kevin Hogan grew up the son of a lobbyist and attended high school six blocks from the Capitol building, nobody had to do any politicking for him to be Stanford's starting quarterback.

The way Hogan has played made him a nearly unanimous choice.

In one of the smoothest and least controversial midseason changes any major program will ever have, Hogan has quietly supplanted Josh Nunes under center. Stanford coach David Shaw said the redshirt freshman will make his first start for the No. 16 Cardinal (7-2, 5-1) on Saturday against No. 13 Oregon State (7-1, 5-1) in what is essentially a Pac-12 North semifinal.

The winner will face second-ranked Oregon with a chance - assuming neither loses it's only other league game left - to advance to the conference championship.

``He's ready,'' Shaw said Tuesday. ``There are times when a guy just gets it.''

Hogan had been used mostly as a read-option quarterback in wildcat-type packages this season. Fullback Ryan Hewitt even dubbed Hogan Stanford's version of ``Tim Tebow.''

The strong-armed and fleet-footed quarterback had a breakthrough in Boulder last week when he relieved Nunes after Stanford's first two drives stalled. Hogan picked apart the nation's worst defense, throwing for 184 yards and two touchdowns and running for 48 yards in just two quarters of work to lead the Cardinal past Colorado, 48-0.

On Monday, Shaw informed Hogan by phone that he would be Stanford's new starting quarterback.

Hogan, a quiet and reserved 20-year-old with a demeanor strikingly similar to Andrew Luck - the No. 1 overall pick of the Indianapolis Colts who left gargantuan footsteps to fill on The Farm- said at first he didn't tell anybody the news. Instead, he waited to inform his parents the next time they talked, part of a personality that even teammates tease never shows any excitement.

``He's just so cool, like the most interesting man,'' wide receiver Jamal-Rashad Patterson said.

Considering the close quarterback competition in the offseason, it's not all that surprising Stanford will have another player start under center this year - but few ever expected that player to be Hogan.

The race to replace Luck lasted nearly eight months between Nunes and Brett Nottingham, last season's backup. Shaw trumpeted Hogan's skills during the final weeks of preseason practice, although most figured the coach was just trying to inject some public pressure on the front-runners.

Shaw doesn't regret his decision to name Nunes the starter, saying at the time ``it wasn't close.'' Hogan was still learning the offense, which both estimate he still only has about 80 percent at his disposal, and Nottingham needed to show coaches more than a powerful right arm.

Even now Nunes remains somewhat of a mystery. He played spectacularly in the second half to upset then-No. 2 Southern California and rallied the Cardinal from a two-touchdown deficit for a 54-48 overtime win against Arizona, but then he looked lost for long stretches in losses at Washington and Notre Dame.

Shaw thanked Nunes for guiding the Cardinal through the first eight games and told him to stay ready.

``You just coach them all, push them all and see what happens,'' Shaw said. ``I think you get in trouble as a coach when you hope and wish for things to happen. I think you have to push them all and evaluate what happens. And when the guys do what you want them to do, you reward them with more playing time.''

That approach has ushered in the Hogan Era.

The 6-foot-4, 224-pound Hogan's speed and athleticism gives the Cardinal a dimension they haven't had since, well, utilizing Luck's mobility in his first two seasons before protecting the eventual No. 1 pick with more plays from the pocket. Hogan grew up in McLean, Va., and ran often in a spread-style offense at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, where running into Congressional leaders and Senators - some whose children attended the school - occurred frequently

``It was a pretty cool experience,'' Hogan said.

Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton discovered Hogan during one of his East Coast recruiting trips. Hamilton came back to Shaw, then an assistant under Jim Harbaugh, and told him there was a quarterback ``we've got to take a look at. He's got great physical tools, he's a tough kid and he's a very, very bright kid with a high GPA and high test score.''

``All things we like to hear,'' Shaw said.

What piqued the interests of Stanford's staff more than anything was that Hogan played most of his final year in rainy games with sloppy fields, though the weather ``never bothered him,'' Shaw said. He called Hogan a ``mudder'' for the way he played through the muck with such ease.

Convincing Hogan to attend Stanford proved more difficult.

Hogan had never been to the quant Silicon Valley campus. He cheered for the Redskins as a kid though he'd attend Virginia or Vanderbilt to stay closer to home. At the urging of his parents, Jerry and Donna, he took a trip to Stanford to explore all of his options.

``I came out and within an hour I was convinced that this was the place I wanted to be,'' Hogan said. ``The academics, the athletics, there's no comparison in the country. And the relationship with the coaches, it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up.''

Hogan committed to Stanford just before Luck announced in January 2011 that he would return for his redshirt junior season. Hogan said, if anything, Luck's return made him want to be at Stanford more.

Hogan credits Luck for teaching him how to prepare and study defenses, to use his mind more than his arm to breakdown coverages. After a year and eight games, Hogan will finally have that chance to put all that work into action for a full game.

``I was a pretty late commit as far as quarterback go,'' Hogan said. ``Thank God I waited.''

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Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP

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Capitals vs. Lightning Game 6 Eastern Conference Final 2018: Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream

Capitals vs. Lightning Game 6 Eastern Conference Final 2018: Date, Time, How to Watch, live stream

When the Capitals take the ice in Game 6, they will be playing for their playoff lives. After losing Game 5 on Saturday to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Caps must win on Monday or their season will be over.

In order to do that, the Caps will have to change some things. First, they have to figure out how to win at home, something they have yet to do in this series. Second, they will have to find a way to get to Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy who has been dominant the past three games. Alex Ovechkin also needs to win the matchup against the fourth line since he has only two five-on-five points through five games. Finally, the defense will have to be better. Matt Niskanen took the blame for Game 5, but really it was a tough night all around.

Also, a few penalty calls against Tampa Bay would be nice too.

Where: Capital One Arena

When: 8:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Lightning, Game 6 will be broadcast on NBCSN

Live Stream: You can watch Capitals-Lightning Game 6 on NBC Sports' live stream page.

WHEN IS GAME 6 OF THE CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING PLAYOFF SERIES?

Game 6 of the Capitals vs. Lightning 2018 NHL Playoff series takes place on Monday, May 21 at 8:00 p.m. at Capital One Arnea.

WHAT CHANNEL IS GAME 6 OF CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING ON?

The TV broadcast of Game 6 between the Capitals and Lightning is on NBCSN. Capitals pre- and postgame coverage takes place on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
8:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Lightning Game 6 on NBCSN
10:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
11:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime

WHERE CAN I STREAM GAME 6 OF THE CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING SERIES?

Game 6 between the Capitals and Lightning is available to stream online on Monday, May 21 live here through the NBC Sports live stream page.

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR GAME 6 OF CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING?

Capitals projected lines:

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Chandler Stephenson - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Lars Eller - Brett Connolly
Devante Smith-Pelly -  Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos

Braden Holtby with Philipp Grubauer as backup.

Lightning projected lines:

Ondrej Palat - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov
Tyler Johnson - Brayden Point - Yanni Gourde
Alex Killorn - Anthony Cirelli - J.T. Miller
Chris Kunitz - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan

Victor Hedman - Dan Girardi
Ryan McDonagh - Anton Stralman
Braydon Coburn - Mikhail Sergachev

Andrei Vasilevskiy starts with Louis Domingue as backup.

CAPITALS vs. LIGHTNING GAME 6 OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Soto makes debut in Nationals loss to Dodgers

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Soto makes debut in Nationals loss to Dodgers

WASHINGTON  -- Kike Hernandez and Yasiel Puig each hit two-run homers, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 7-2 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.

Hernandez's blast off Stephen Strasburg in the fifth inning put the Dodgers up 3-2. Yasmani Grandal also homered off Strasburg (5-4), who allowed three runs and five hits over 6 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts.

Alex Wood (1-4) pitched six innings, allowing just three hits and two earned runs. Wood came out to start the seventh, but returned to the clubhouse after showing some discomfort during his warm-up tosses.

Trea Turner homered for Washington, which swept Arizona last weekend and then went five days without playing a full game because of rain before getting swept by the Dodgers.

Los Angeles, after losing six consecutive games, has now won four straight overall and five of six over Washington this season.

Washington's Juan Soto, at 19 the youngest active player in the majors, made his debut in the eighth as a pinch-hitter and struck out against Erik Goeddel.

The Dodgers added two runs in the ninth. Josh Fields recorded the final four outs for his second save of the season.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.