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ORANGE BOWL NOTEBOOK

LEARNING FROM LAST YEAR: The Sooners had strong motivation to get back to the national championship game after losing to LSU last season in the Sugar Bowl. Quarterback Jason White, who won the Heisman but was on the losing end of the Big 12 title game and the Sugar Bowl, said a balanced running game has helped the offense.

"This year it seems like we know what we have to do," he said. "We know we have to prepare better than we did last year, and I think we've accomplished that so far."

JUICE IN THE HOUSE: O.J. Simpson plans to root like crazy at the Orange Bowl. "I'll be in the stands cheering as loud as anybody for USC," he told AP. "I can't wait." The Heisman-winning running back said he hasn't seen his alma mater play in person for about 10 years.

_ BOB HARIG, Times staff writer

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