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OSU NOTES, UPDATE: Vaz MRI negative, should be available for duty vs. Utah

CORVALLIS -- Notes from Oregon State's practice session Tuesday at Tommy Prothro Field …

Good news on the Cody Vaz injury front: Tuesday's MRI on the injured left shoulder of the senior quarterback was negative.

"Nothing's wrong," said Vaz, who reinjured the non-throwing shoulder that he had surgery on in May on the final play of the Beavers' 33-14 victory over Hawaii Saturday night. "It was bothering me, so we did the MRI as a precautionary thing just to make sure nothing was wrong."

Vaz, backup to starting QB Sean Mannion, will practice Wednesday. Will he be available for duty in Oregon State's Pac-12 opener Saturday night at Utah?

"I think so," Vaz said Tuesday night.

Brent VanderVeen, a 6-4, 210-pound redshirt freshman from Arroyo Grande, Calif., took the snaps with the second unit Tuesday.

"Brent has really improved from this time a year ago," Riley said. "He's looking like a quarterback now."

• Cyril Noland-Lewis isn't going to get much time to adjust to his move from safety to outside linebacker.

The 6-foot, 200-pound freshman from Ruston, La., who switched to his new position during Monday's practice, will likely be thrown immediately into the rotation in Oregon State's Pac-12 opener at 7 p.m. Saturday at Utah.

Juniors D.J. Alexander -- who returns to the starting lineup after missing the first two games with a sprained knee -- and Jabral Johnson will start at the outside 'backer spots. Redshirt freshman Caleb Saulo, impressive after being inserted following Michael Doctor's foot injury in Saturday's 33-14 victory over Hawaii, will be the first backup at the position against the Utes.

Darrell Songy would normally be the next man up, but the 6-1, 220-pound true freshman suffered a concussion against the Warriors.

"Songy is on the road to progressing where he'll be able to play," Riley said Tuesday. "If he goes through the protocol as we expect, he should be ready to go, but that leaves you without (most of) a week of practice."

So Songy is likely to perform just on special teams. That leaves potential playing time at outside 'backer for Noland-Lewis.

"The plan is to have D.J. and Jabral start, and rotate in (Saulo and Noland-Lewis) so we don't wear them out," linebackers coach Trent Bray said.

Noland-Lewis, who had played some in the nickel package at safety in the first two games, is excited for the opportunity.

"It's a pretty good change for me," he said. "I can use my speed. I don't have the most size, but I can be more elusive and play smart and fast.

"I'll be prepared. I always prepare like I'm going to play every down. So far, the transition has been easy. I've spent extra time on (video) getting comfortable with the new position."

Bray is optimistic Noland-Lewis can get things done immediately.

"We got a curveball (with the loss of Doctor against Hawaii) and Caleb stepped in and did well," Bray said. "He'll have to step up and do it again, and Cyril's going to have to help us when he can in space.

"He's a smart kid. He moves extremely well. He's quick and he has good speed. He's a lot like Michael and D.J. the way he moves in space. He's what we're looking for at that position, what we're trying to recruit."

Bray believes with natural growth and weight training, Nolan-Lewis can increase to 225 to 230 pounds before he's through at OSU.

Riley said the opportunity is now for Noland-Lewis, albeit at a different position.

"Guys who have been around here for a year like Cyril, they need to be ready to play," he said. "He's a real good athlete, a real conscientious guy, a tenacious competitor. He'll be fine."

• The banged-up offensive line will have to come together in time to lead the way for Oregon State's run game at Utah. Probable starters are left tackle Michael Philipp, left guard Josh Andrews, center Josh Mitchell, right guard Grant Bays and right tackle Isaac Seumalo.

Andrews says the O-linemen have no choice but to be ready for the Utes.

"Coach Cav (Mike Cavanaugh) is getting us ready, still pounding in our heads that we have to be assignment-perfect," Andrews said. "We have confidence in Bays. He's a strong young player. Mitchell started the first game and did really well. Isaac is Isaac. We're going to be good still up front."

Can the Beavers block well enough to be effective with their rushing attack against Utah?

"That's the big question," Seumalo said. "I sure hope so. I want to run well. We all do."

NOTES: Doctor, listed as out for from six to eight weeks, said he hasn't considered the possibility of redshirting next season. "I'm focusing on returning this season," said the 6-foot, 225-pound senior, who underwent surgery Sunday on his injured foot. Doctor, who played as a true freshman, graduated last fall after just three years and one term in school with a degree in human development and family sciences. How'd he do it? "Any time we had a break, I stayed here and took classes," Doctor said. Doctor could work on his masters degree -- and have Oregon State pay for it -- if he chooses to return for a redshirt season next fall. … Alexander went through full drills with the first unit Tuesday. "The knee feels great," he said. "It feels like nothing happened." … Offensive tackle Gavin Andrews failed the Monday test on his spleen in regards to his recuperation from mononucleosis that has caused him to miss OSU's first two games, but he was close. He'll take another physical next Monday, and coaches are hopeful he'll get clearance to begin practice. … The Beavers may have to burn a redshirt season on another tackle, true freshman Sean Harlow, due to the rash of injuries on the O-line. "Sean's doing a great job," O-line coach Cavanaugh said. "He can play guard and tackle. We're trying like crazy (to preserve his redshirt year), but we're at the point now where we may or may not. So he has to be ready to go." … Since the summer, Oregon State has lost six O-linemen. Chase Eldredge left school, David Keller retired due to concussions, Andrews contracted mono, Garrett Weinreich (knee) has missed training camp and the first two games, Roman Sapolu (foot) is lost for the year and Grant Enger (knee) is out for the next two games. OSU coaches have moved two players -- JC transfer Devan Filipe, a defensive tackle, and redshirt freshman Dustin Stanton, a tight end, to offensive tackle. It's unlikely either will see game time at the position this year, though, unless a further flood of injuries.

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