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Players follow Hoke's lead

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan coach Brady Hoke says he has always referred to Ohio State as simply Ohio. So when Hoke got to Michigan last January, nothing was going to change when he was talking about the Buckeyes.

Several players said it was one of the first changes implemented when Hoke became coach, and that all the players fell in line calling Ohio State, Ohio.

"That's what Coach Hoke says, so that's what I say," senior defensive end Ryan Van Bergen said. "He's my leader. He's my coach."

Van Bergen said he doesn't know why Hoke calls the school that, but what he finds more puzzling is why Ohio State fans refer to their school as The Ohio State University.

"I think there's a lot of schools in Ohio," Van Bergen said. "So why are they The Ohio State University?"

Hoke spent six seasons coaching at Ball State in the Mid-American Conference and actually coached against Ohio University.

But even then, he used "Ohio" to mean the Buckeyes, and for the actual Ohio University?

"Bobcats," Hoke said.

Robinson earns honors again
Junior quarterback Denard Robinson split the award with Wisconsin junior running back Montee Ball.

The honor was given after Robinson's performance in Michigan's 45-17 win over Nebraska. The junior passed for two touchdowns and 180 yards. He also threw one interception, but the Cornhuskers weren't able to capitalize on Robinson's miscue.

"I threw the ball well, I feel," Robinson said. "I feel like I made the right reads. But there are some things that I need to keep working on."

Robinson also ran for 83 yards and two touchdowns. It was his 12th career game with four-plus touchdowns.

This is the third time this season and the sixth time in his career that Robinson has been named Player of the Week by the Big Ten.

"He did play really well," senior center David Molk said. "He stepped up. He did what he needed to do, and as an offense, in its entirety, we played really well."

Emotional game for most seniors
Van Bergen hasn't even been able to think about Saturday yet because he says his tunnel vision has kept him focused on each individual day, but he is aware what Saturday holds for himself and his 20 senior teammates.

"So much emotion goes into this game especially as a senior," Van Bergen said. "This is my last time I'll ever play in front of 113,000 people, and I know that for a fact."

Molk said he won't be too emotional in his final game at Michigan Stadium, saying that he's not a "nostalgic type of person."

But senior tight end Kevin Koger made a bet with senior wide receiver Junior Hemingway as to which player will cry first when they walk down the tunnel on Saturday for the last time.

"It's going to be emotional, but it's our time to go," Koger said. "I think I'm going to hold out a little bit longer than Junior is, but not by much. Not by much."

Molk will not be included in that bet, though.

"He's going to be laughing at the guys crying," Koger said. "That's the type of guy Molk is."

A Thanksgiving feast
On Thursday, there will be nearly 500 family members of Michigan football players celebrating Thanksgiving with the team. Hoke invited families to come to Ann Arbor early to dine with the team. Koger said they've had events like this in the past, but it has never included so many people.

"I think it makes everybody closer getting to know everyone's parents and siblings," Koger said.

Chantel Jennings covers University of Michigan sports for WolverineNation. She can be reached at jenningsespn@gmail.com or or on Twitter @chanteljennings.