The quizzical look from Daniel Te'o-Nesheim came before a long pause and a deep sigh.
The topic was quarterback sacks. The focus was his season total – two. The feeling? It's unacceptable for an all-Pacific-10 Conference caliber pass rusher at the University of Washington.
"I'm mad they're not there already," the senior from Hawaii said after practice Wednesday. "But I'm not doubting myself."
This is a UW defensive line thin on pass-rushing talent, and not stocked with able bodies, especially experienced ones. It's a group that sorely depends on a guy such as Te'o-Nesheim.
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In 2007, he totaled a season-best 81/2 sacks. Last season, he backed that up with eight sacks. His 21 career sacks rank No. 7 all-time in Husky lore, and he's got at least six games remaining.
"He's always close to breaking out, because of that relentless motor of his," Huskies linebacker Donald Butler said. "Every game he's close. When you see him on film, he's getting hits on the quarterback … even though he's getting quadruple-teamed."
Te'o-Nesheim is in a similar situation than his pass-rushing counterpart this weekend – Arizona State's Dexter Davis. Before the WSU last weekend, Davis – one of the best in the country – had not registered a sack this season.
"Really?" Te'o-Nesheim asked in amazement. "I was wondering about that."
Against the Cougars, Davis had 11/2 of the team's school-record 12 sacks.
Te'o-Nesheim is hoping his turn is next.
"He had a sack last week (against Arizona), and has had some great pass rushes. He will get his production," UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt said "We have the second half of the season, and I think it will all come together. … He'll crank it up. He's all over the quarterback. He just hasn't gotten him down."
Some stuff from practice Wednesday:
• Just when one player gets healthy, another one goes down. Offensive tackle Nick Scott (shoulder) and defensive end Kalani Aldrich (knee) were out of practice, and are iffy to play against ASU. Receiver Devin Aguilar (head) also missed workouts, but should be OK to play.
Cornerback Desmond Trufant (hip) said his right side was "sore," but added, "I'm good," when asked about it.
"We’re a little nicked up. That’s how you’re going to be in the sixth week of the season when you haven’t had a bye yet," UW coach Steve Sarkisian said. "We’re going to have little bumps and bruises here and there. We’ve got to fight through it for two more weeks until we get that bye.”
• On Wednesday, left guard Gregory Christine sat on a cart inside the Dempsey Indoor Center, his entire right leg placed in a cast from the broken fibula injury he suffered late in the first half against Arizona.
The junior playfully yelled at punter Will Mahan, who was booting football halfway up the east side of the building from the sideline.
Christine will have surgery Thursday to repair not only the broken bone, but ligament damage in his ankle.
• It appears Quinton Richardson's stranglehold on one of the starting cornerback positions in loosening in a hurry.
Richardson ran mostly with the second-string defense – again – while Adam Long took snaps at No. 1.
Last week, Sarkisian noted the move was to get Long more repetitions. By the look of it this week, the spot has become a platoon between the two players.
When asked to assess Richardson's season so far, Holt gave a blank stare, and tried to be as diplomatic as possible.
"He's giving solid effort, and there's some nice plays he's had, and there's some not-so-nice ones," Holt said. "He's got to keep working. He gets down on himself. He has all the tools, really. He's not the fastest guy, but he has good speed, he's got good size, and at times, he's really effective. Sometimes he is his own worst enemy."
• After the 36-33 win over Arizona on Saturday night, Sarkisian mentioned the words "Rose Bowl" when speaking about his team's 3-3 record. He was asked if he was cool if his players thought along those lines, too.
"I think of it that way in the fact we still have an opportunity for it. But in reality, I like our guys thinking about this game," Sarkisian said. "But when there's something still sitting there for you to accomplish, it's nice to look at it to know, 'Man, the hard work I put in today might help us accomplish something down the road.'"