After Saturday night’s stunning 27-23 loss to Michigan State, Michigan punter Blake O’Neill became a social-media punching bag for people without common sense.
For one reason or another, some of the worst people possible found it necessary to threaten the life of the Wolverines’ senior transfer–all because he made a critical mistake that paved the way for a Spartans’ victory. Let’s get one thing straight: It was a rough play, but nobody should ever be threatened in such a manner.
Check out reports from MLive, 247Sports or even do a quick Twitter search, and you’ll be able to see and read all of the ignorant hate thrown at the young man. College Spun happened to catch the worst offenders.
Yes, he mishandled a punt. Yes, he probably should have fallen down on the ball. But it was a chaotic moment, and he evidently did what he thought best. But again, that’s football, a theme echoed by Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh during the postgame press conference.
The addition of O’Neill was huge for Michigan, which has one of the better special teams units in the Big Ten. Punting, kicking and returning have all seen increased production.
See the below video for a clear demonstration of what O’Neill can do for Michigan. Don’t base his body of work on one bad play. And don’t forget that the botched punt didn’t cost the Wolverines the game. They were in control until late in the fourth quarter.
O’Neill didn’t miss tackles or give up big passing plays or touchdowns on the ground–those were what led to Michigan’s demise, not his one punt attempt.