After rolling to a 58-21 victory over Texas-El Paso with over 300 yards on the ground, is his team finally there?
"I feel good about it," Petrino said. "It took a little while to get there.
"It took awhile. It's controlling the line of scrimmage. Being powerful running the ball. The defensive front pressuring the quarterback, stop the run. I feel good about it."
It's been fun and feels good to run the ball, offensive lineman DeMarcus Love said Monday.
"It feels good for coach to be able to turn it over to the offensive line and say let's run the football and get a different look," Love said. "We are mostly a passing team. But you need to be able to turn it over to the run game to finish.
There was another feel good story aside from the physical play up front. Tight end D. J. Williams, a senior from Little Rock, was given the Disney Spirit Award on Monday. Petrino fielded several questions on what Williams means to the Arkansas team.
"I congratulate D.J.," Petrino said. "He's a very special person. Everyone who comes in contact with him, loves him. He knows every professor on campus.
"He's a great leader for us. He tries to do everything we ask him to do. He does it by example, practice and the game field. He's unique. He enjoys life. He gives our team spirit outside of football. He does a nice job of keeping the team together."
Williams left the UTEP game with an apparent shoulder injury. How has he progressed over the last two days?
"He's going to be OK," Petrino said. "He was better yesterday. He was in for treatment this morning and was better. He got a bruise on his shoulder. It's day-to-day. He should be fine."
Petrino was asked about other injured Razorbacks, including defensive tackle Byran Jones, held out of the UTEP game.
"He was healthy enough to play," Petrino said of Jones. "It was game time. Let's not risk it and make sure he's 100 percent for Mississippi State."
Petrino said Anthony Leon and Tenarius Wright both are good to go this week after sustaining minor injuries against UTEP.
The Arkansas coach was also asked about the attention defenses have given to Joe Adams with Greg Childs out of action.
"He's playing part-time last couple of games," Petrino said. "We wanted to get Joe out of the game healthy. Now his production goes up."
Petrino liked what he saw against UTEP.
"It was a good win, a good way to send our 21 seniors out with a victory," he said. "A good performance. We played well. We ran the ball well. Defense did a good job after the long run. We got a lot of people in the game. The backups did a nice job. They were flying around. We got a lot of experience.
"Now we have to do a good job against a good Mississippi State team. It's a very good football team on the road."
Petrino said the Hogs will face a different type of defensive style in Mississippi State.
"Mississippi State plays a little different," he said. "They squeeze their corner, pinch their defensive line. It makes it tough to prepare in three days.
"They have three linebackers that are very good and can run. They have a physical defensive front."
Defensive end Damario Ambrose said it's more than just style in the offensive package, which is run-first and features an outstanding option operator in quarterback Chris Relf.
"They are a physical team and they like to run the ball," Ambrose said. They have a physical offensive line. They have a high draft pick. It's a good running game. We have to stop the run and make it one dimensional.
"I like playing the run, but you want sometimes to get a passing game a little more to get some sacks.
Relf presents some unique problems.
"He's a great QB," Ambrose said. "He stays low and runs the ball hard. The offensive line helps everything out. They stay low and come off the ball. It will be a challenge to stop their running."
Petrino said it's more than just the option.
"They run the ball," Petrino said. "It's not just the option game. They run the quarterback and they can make you miss. There are a lot of challenges to stopping them.
"We made sure we got to practice against some things we were going to see option wise, not just see it three days before you play it. There's a lot of preparation except for this week.
The cow bells that ring during Starkville home games came up Monday.
"You may not believe you, but I don't remember them," Ambrose said. "I guess I'm focused on the game. Especially on defense, they are not going to be loud with their offense on the field. I think they are enthusiastic."
Love remembers hearing them when the Hogs had the football.
"I always remember the bell ringing," Love said. "It's a whole lot of bells. But it's tough and loud everywhere in the SEC.
"You don't pay attention when you are on the field. It's not much of a difference from other SEC stadiums. It's loud.
"You don't hear many cow bells in many other stadiums. That's the thing they do in Starkville. It's a unique sound, not like anywhere else."
Ryan Mallett said he got some critiques of his 14-yard touchdown run against UTEP, especially the last few yards when it appeared he was getting ready to dive, but didn't.
"I got negative style points," Mallett said. "I thought I was going to have to dive,. They stopped. I stopped myself and kept going. I've had a few jokes about that. Man, you are unathletic. I said, 'Hey, we got a TD.' It's everyone. Parents, everyone.
"Looked like I had a little bit of speed, didn't it? Lot of open grass in that game. I was moving around, that's what I like to do.
Love didn't mind.
"I didn't say too much," Love said. "He's not a runner. It was awkward to see him run. He got a touchdown so we'll go along with it and get ready next year.
"I think he did a lot of it on his own. He was on a bootleg. I guess you could give (the offensive line) a little credit, but he saw a lane and took it."
Ambrose thought it was bird like.
It looked like he wanted to dive, then stumbled and look like a stork," Ambrose said. "I didn't know what he was doing, but as long as he got to the end zone it was OK."