By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT - Thanksgiving will not interfere with the pizza night tradition of Michigan head coach Brady Hoke.
Hoke, whose Wolverines are preparing to face the Ohio State Buckeyes in their final game of the regular season, explained that his Thanksgiving meal will happen early in the day and in the midst of the Michigan football family.
"We'll practice in the morning, and then at 1 o'clock, there'll be over 500 people at the Sheraton here in Ann Arbor, and we have Thanksgiving dinner with our team, and their families come in, and obviously our families," Hoke told Stoney, Bill and Sara of 97.1 The Ticket. "It really has been something that's really special. So we'll do that, but then [Hoke's wife] Laura will be manning the ovens and making six pizzas."
Hoke balked, however, at the idea of putting some turkey on the pizza.
"No, you don't put poultry on pizza," Hoke said patiently. "We have been through this discussion."
"You don't put poultry on a pizza," Hoke added. "You just don't do that, and I've had this argument with many, many people ... You don't put any kind of poultry on a pizza."
Hoke spoke briefly about Michigan's loss to Maryland, a game in which the Wolverines did not play well but in which several penalties hurt them also. The coach expressed some skepticism about the validity of several calls, including the block in the black that negated a return for a touchdown and a roughing-the-kicker call that gave Maryland first and goal.
"Let me put it this way - [I] argued on the block in the back particularly, and then the roughing the kicker, to me, the guy won an Oscar for the performance he put on," Hoke said. "There's running into and then there's roughing. I saw that more as a running into than a roughing. These guys make subjective calls. [Maryland] had a 28-yard punt return that they blocked two of our guys in the back.
"It was called both ways to some degree," Hoke continued. "I know they've got a job and all that kind of stuff, but the fourth-and-three thrown to Devin [Funchess], I don't know if he had an opportunity to catch the ball when you get hit in the back as you're trying to catch the ball."
The Wolverines face their toughest test of the season as they head to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the Buckeyes, who have not lost a single game this season. The longstanding rivalry between the teams makes the game one that garners excitement even if the game is not expected to be particularly competitive.
Hoke would not say Ohio State fans go after him more than any other opposing fans, but he acknowledged the atmosphere can be crazy.
"They have great passion," Hoke said. "Treated worse, I don't know about that. I know that there's a lot of security around our team, I do know that ... Both sides, sometimes their passions maybe run a little overboard."
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