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Pregame ponderables from the BCS title game

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

MIAMI -- We're less than 45 minutes away from kickoff and I'm excited about the start. Both teams have left the field after their pregame warm-ups. The bands for both teams will be taking the field. As Keith Jackson used to say, the color and pageantry of college football is apparent here tonight.

Here are a few trends to watch to provide an idea of how the game will turn out:

1. Will Oklahoma be able to keep Florida's speedy pass rush away from Sam Bradford? The Sooners struggled against the only true speed pass-rush teams they faced in TCU and Texas. Those teams accounted for seven of the 11 sacks notched against Oklahoma this season.

2. How will Florida be able to use its situational defensive substitutions against Oklahoma's no-huddle offense? The fast pace makes it difficult for opponents to alter personnel very much against the Sooners. I'm sure the more players that Charlie Strong can get into the lineup, the better he will feel.

3. How will Oklahoma's kick-coverage unit stand up against Brandon James? Oklahoma has one of the worst units against kickoffs in the country, allowing four TD returns this season. It's been aggravated because the Sooners haven't played for 33 days, leaving the unit rusty. This will bear careful scrutiny, especially on Florida's first kickoff return.

4. What attitude will Oklahoma's defense bring to the game? After being called out by Florida middle linebacker Brandon Spikes as "a joke," how will the Sooners react? They couldn't have asked for any more pregame inspiration.

5. How will Oklahoma operate without DeMarco Murray? After Murray injured his hamstring against Missouri in the Big 12 championship game, Chris Brown and Mossis Madu both picked up the slack. But they will be playing against a faster unit that will challenge them on every play. The absence of Murray will be particularly noticeable on kickoff returns, where Murray was Oklahoma's primary returner. Brown and Juaquin Iglesias will inherit that role in tonight's game.