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Van Dyke set to start against Iowa

October 5, 2000

The long-anticipated return of junior quarterback Ryan Van Dyke will wait no further.

Van Dyke, who has been recovering from a bruised right thumb which he suffered Sept. 9 versus Marshall, will start Saturday against Iowa, team officials said Wednesday.

True freshman Jeff Smoker filled in for Van Dyke the last three weeks.

“I’m happy, it’s been a long time,” junior wide receiver Herb Haygood said of Van Dyke’s return. “He hasn’t missed a beat in practice, and he just can’t wait to play.”

Haygood added that the team needs to rally around its leader.

“This has to be a breakout game,” he said. “We didn’t put enough points on the board last week.”

Coming off a 37-17 home loss against Northwestern last Saturday, Van Dyke couldn’t have picked a better time to return.

Junior tight end Chris Baker said he’s glad he’ll finally get to put his off-season work with Van Dyke to the test in a game situation. In Van Dyke’s only game of the season, he completed 5 of 7 passes for 74 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown strike to Baker.

“More than anything, Ryan and I are on the same page,” Baker said. “He’s got the experience, and that’s not Smoker’s fault. It was us older guys that put him in those situations.”

Baker said that Van Dyke has been quite giddy in practice the last couple days.

“He’s got the freshest legs,” he said. “He is just running around and happy about everything he’s doing.”

MSU head coach Bobby Williams said Van Dyke has looked good in practice.

“Ryan Van Dyke has really responded well to the adversity,” Williams said in a press release. “His attitude has been tremendous.”


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