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Monday practice report and an award finalist

From Pullman — The Cougars had a Monday practice today because of the skewed schedule stemming from a Thursday night football game this week. Things got a bit chippy during the session when freshman Emmitt Su'a-Kalio appeared to good-naturedly hold down running back Theron West during a special teams drill. West took exception to Su'a-Kalio not letting him up, and took a swing at the freshman when he rose. The players were quickly separated and neither seemed the worse for wear.

Coach Mike Leach said he doesn't mind such skirmishes, with a caveat: “As long as they don't waste too much time,” Leach said. “If they waste time then I'll roll them, but they better not take too much time.”

The first team defense struggled again as scout team quarterbacks Tyler Bruggman and Lucas Falk continually completed passes to Cougars downfield. The defense has struggled against he pass all week, and the scout team was able to find success in the ground game as well.

Also, a WSU football player is in the hunt for one of college football's most prestigious awards. Find out who after the jump.

Senior safety Deone Bucannon has been named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the op defensive back in college football, the Jim Thorpe Association announced on Monday. Bucannon leads the conference with 73 tackles and is tied for No. 2 in the conference with four interceptions. He has also forced three fumbles and has two fumble recoveries.

Bucannon is the first Cougars player to be named a Jim Thorpe finalist since Jason David in 2003. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Steven Nelson from Oregon are the other semifinalists from the Pac-12.

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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jacob Thorpe Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Josh Wright Josh Wright is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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