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ESPN Sports Science: MSU's Miller supplied power for crushing TD

The Detroit News

ESPN Sports Science host John Brenkus credits Michigan State's Grayson Miller for supplying the chunk of power, which perfectly launched the ball from Michigan punter Blake O'Neill's grasp and into teammate Jalen Watts-Jackson's grateful hands for the game-winning touchdown last weekend.

The freshman safety barrelled through at 17 mph — covering nearly 40 feet — when he encountered O'Neill, who struggled to field the low snap arriving at 31 mph, Brenkus said. The UM punter had 41 one-hundredths of seconds to react.

With his rugby delivery, O'Neill rotated his body 90 degrees in an attempt to punt the ball. In doing so, he consumed 80 percent of the time in a failed attempt to launch the kick, Brenkus said.

As O'Neill's arm flailed backward, Miller hit it with 30 pounds of force that propelled the ball nearly 18 feet across the field, where it landed in Watts-Jackson's hands.

"To put the absurdity of this play into perspective, consider this: This last time an FBS punter for a home team was credited with a rush of at least negative 15 yards and gave away a fumble that was returned at least 38 yards for a game-winning a touchdown as time expired on a nationally-televised rivalry was pretty much ... never," Brenkus said.

Michigan punter Blake O'Neill loses the ball on the last play. Michigan State freshman Grayson Miller is No. 44.