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Hawaii Position Previews - Special Teams

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Previewing Washington's first opponent of the season.

Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

The moment you've all be waiting for: special teams!

Place-Kicker

Not a lot of drama here. Senior Tyler Hadden will kick field goals and handle kick-off duties for the third straight season. He converted 13 of 21 kicks in 2012 and 7 of 13 last season, with a season-high of 48 yards. At the risk of sounding dismissive, he's a pretty standard Mountain West kicker. He'll hit most of the easy ones, but you won't see him booting any 50+ yarders. Given the 13 misses over the last two years, he may not be the nerves-of-steel type you want taking a potentially game-winning kick.

Punter

Wide receiver Scott Harding is listed as an OR starter with (normal-type punter) Ruben Guzman. Harding averaged around 40 yards per punt kicking rugby style as the starter last season. Guzman punted in six games, averaging just a hair less per punt. Coach Chow and his staff were obviously comfortable with a receiver punting last year, but with Harding expected to take on a bigger role in the passing game, it wouldn't be surprising to see the two split punts against Washington.

Punt Returner

Punter/Wide Receiver/Punt Returner. Scott Harding would be my hero in another life (perhaps one in which I also hailed from Queensland). He took on all three roles last season, and he looks ready to do so one more time in his senior campaign. Harding averaged 8.3 yards per punt return. He hasn't scored a touchdown in the return game, and it seems fairly unlikely that his first score will come against a Petersen-coached special teams unit.

Kick Returner

I'm mildly sad that Harding is too lazy to return kicks, too. That will be left to Diocemy Saint Juste, a sophomore RB from Florida. He began returning kicks midway through last year, and in that limited time he took one 78 yards and three others at least 30 yards. At 5'8" 180 pounds, he's the slippery type.

Long-Snapper

Brian Hittner. We will never speak of him again unless he messes up a long snap.