The whiner chUMps have posted time and again that had O'Neill caught the snap he definitely would have gotten the punt off.
They are wrong. He might have. But the way the punt block defense was schemed and executed and the way the UM punt protection broke down, the odds are very, very good that it would have been blocked.
Traditional punters take 2 seconds to kick.
The snap takes 1 second.
Step once and kick takes 1 second.
A frame-by-frame viewing of one of the MSU punts confirms this.
The Australian "Rugby" punt takes 3 seconds.
The snap takes 1 second.
Move 3 steps (nearly 3 yards) to the right and kick takes 2 seconds.
The up backs also shift, but with their backs to the punter.
A frame-by-frame viewing of the O'Neill 80 yard (50 yards plus roll/bounce) confirms this.
As a footnote, UM was lucky that punt was not blocked. MSU had 4 rushers past the Up Back protection at the time of the kick. A 5th Spartan rusher was closing in.
What follows is the anatomy of the "Jalen Break" aka Rangers: Mission 4:10.
Again, this is from frame-by-frame viewing.
Since not all jersey numbers were clearly visible, the description omits them all.
Left and right are based on the punter's position and facing at the snap.
In the graphic, the X is the approximate position the Punter would have gone to to make his Australian punt. It is about 3 yards to the right of his starting position.
At 10 seconds remaining...
5 Blockers (offensive linemen) on the line. The long snapper is B3.
3 Up backs (protection) 8 yards back.
Punter is 16 yards back at the 37.
Gunner G1 on far left undefended.
Gunner G2 on far right facing a jammer.
Rushers R1, R2, and R3 unopposed on left.
a wall of of 7 Rushers opposing the Bs 2, 3, 4, and 5. B1 unopposed.
R5 (gap), R7 (gap), and R10 (right) unopposed.
Jammer opposed G2.
At 9 seconds remaining...
Up back protection was shifting to the right.
7 Rushers were clear of the line with 2 about to engage the Up backs, 4 about to flank the protection on the left and 1 beginning to flank the protection on the right.
2 Rushers were through the line with 1 heading to the take on the U2 (middle) and the other clear to flank the protection.
1 Blocker was down.
2 Blockers were engaged in blocking R4.
1 Blocker had transition to Gunner 3.
1 Blocker had been passed by a rusher and was effective out of play.
Gunner1 is headed down the field.
Gunner 2 is headed down the field being shadowed by the Jammer.
Ball bounced off Punter's hands.
The ball hits the ground in 2 yards in front of and slightly to the right of the Punter.
The Punter overshot the ball, turned to his left 180 degrees and stooped down to pick it up.
It is unlikely he saw his protection engaged.
It is unlikely he saw the 2 rushers that were moving unopposed to right flank the protection.
He continued his turn to his left.
His attention remained on the ball.
It is unlikely he saw the 4 unopposed rushers left flanking the protection.
At 8 seconds to go...
The punter, now at the 39, continued his turn (270 degrees at this point) to start his move to the right (now his left).
2 more Bs became Gunners having released their blocks on Rushers.
1 B is still down.
1 Rusher is in the middle but not engaged with the Us.
1 B was moving back towards the Punter but lagging the Rushers.
U1 on the left was overwhelmed. 5 Rushers passed the protection on the left.
U2 in the middle engaged a Rusher, turned him and pushed him towards the sideline past U3 (on the right) thus opening the middle of the wall through which 3 Rushers ran unimpeded.
U3 on the right stuttered not knowing who to block and never made a block at allowing all 3 Rushers go by unimpeded right up the middle.
At this point there are 8 Rushers within 5 yards of the Punter and only one of them was being blocked. 2 Rushers were within 1 yard of the Punter. 5 Rushers are between the Up backs and the Punter.
At 7 seconds to go...
Punter, now at the 40 was hit, ball flies out...
Punter was closely encircled by 7 Rushers, none further than a yard away.
The Rusher that made the hit is down.
At the moment he was hit there were 2 Rushers 4 yards directly in front of the place the Punter normally would have kicked from.
The Punter, when hit, was 1 step from his kick spot X but 3 yards closer to the line of scrimmage.
Jalen picks the ball out of the air.
At 2 seconds to go...
Jalen was downfield nearing the goal line.
8 Spartans versus 3 Wolverines.
At 0 seconds to go...Touchdown.
End of game.
The alternate reality scenario - the Punter does not bobble the snap.
Situation at 9 seconds is still in effect.
Punter turns to make his 3 steps/yards to the right. 3 quick steps, not running. 2 seconds.
U1 on the left is overwhelmed. 5 Rushers pass the protection on the left, moving at speed. 40 yards in 5 seconds from a standstill. 8 yards in less that 1 second.
U2 in the middle engages a Rusher, turns him and pushes him towards the sideline past U3 (on the right) thus opening the middle of the wall.
U3 on the right stutters not knowing who to block and never makes a block.
The middle of the wall is wide open allowing 3 Rushers go by unimpeded right up the middle to the very spot the punter would have kicked from. 40 yards in 5 seconds from a standstill. 8 yards in less than 1 second. It is probable they would have arrived before the punter. The rushers arrive at the kick spot while the clock still shows 7 seconds.
Punter reaches his kick spot and 3 Spartan rushers arrive head-on at the same time with 4 more arriving in front of him coming from the left.
Punter holds the ball and is tackled or, more like, tries to kick and the kick blocked.
If tackled, MSU ball on the 37 with 6 seconds.
If blocked, MSU had the players in position to scoop and run.
But it is highly improbable that the Punter gets the kick off, not with 7+ rushers in his face.
The UM punt scheme was not up to handling the MSU punt block 11 scheme.
The UM special teams punt execution was horrible, especially the UB protection.
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