But the coach also feels like he is also taking in a very well prepared group of 13th-ranked Razorbacks (8-2, 4-2) that are ready to play Mississippi State (7-3, 3-3).
"Our guys are excited," Petrino said. "We are certainly focused, we've had a lot of energy, I think we have executed well, I think our coaches have a good game plan and we are ready to go on the road and work hard. We know it is going to be a good battle, they are a very good football team, very good on defense and really run the ball so we are prepared for the mental part of being in a very tough battle."
"Probably just the Cowbells," Petrino said of his biggest memory. "They have a great crowd. We had a good game with them last time that came down to a last-second field goal. This is a big game. They have a very good record. We have a good record. They are a good football team. We feel like we are a good football team. It should be a real good battle."
Petrino chose not to pipe noise into practice this week to get his team ready.
"We haven't," Petrino said. "We do that sometimes where you put noise in there, but I have never really figured out if that is the best thing to do or not. We felt like one year when we did it, it distracted us and we didn't practice as well as we needed to. We did not do it this year."
Petrino talked about how much he has enjoyed coaching the Razorbacks this season.
"It has been a fun year of coaching our football team," Petrino said. "Our seniors – and our other players on the team that lead – have done a great job each week of coming to practice, coming to work with a positive attitude. When you have a positive attitude and a good work ethic, you are going to get a lot accomplished. I think we have done that."
Freshmen defensive tackle Byran Jones is good to go after missing the last two games per his head coach.
"Byran is doing good," Petrino said. "He will be able to play. He has practiced all three days and has gotten better all three days. He is ready to go. Our health is good. We are in good shape."
Petrino also talked about how the health of quarterback Ryan Mallett is as good as it has been this season.
"Ryan has gone the last three weeks to a month where he hasn't been hit a lot," Petrino said. "He is feeling as good as he has all year long."
"…He is throwing the ball well, the receivers are running routes and catching the ball well – we like we are at offensively and we just have to keep it going," Petrino said. "It is about executing, all 11 guys doing their job on every play and being able to continue to run the ball and throw it."
Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen praised Mallett's athleticism.
"I've always felt that he is very athletic," Petrino said. "The throws that he makes on the run every week, his ability to move in the pocket, keep his vision downfield, throw the ball downfield. You think back to as far as Texas A&M when he made a blitz miss and threw a 70-yard touchdown pass."
The normally serious Petrino actually joked to illustrated his point.
"He is not 4.4 (in the 40-yard dash)," Petrino said. "He may not even be 5.4, but he is very athletic and can really move and throw the ball on the run."
Petrino also praised the development of redshirt sophomore tight end Chris Gragg, who has become a bigger weapon for the offense since fellow former Warren standout Greg Childs was lost for the season.
"He has improved a lot," Petrino said. "Chris had a very good summer. He got a lot stronger, a lot more physical. His confidence level in the last month has gotten a lot better. He has played more and with that you play better. I am real happy with Chris Gragg."
The Razorbacks have dealt with an off-the-field issue this week in that Deddrick Jones, the brother of Arkansas defensive tackle D.D. Jones, was one of three Southern Mississippi players injured in a shooting last weekend.
Martez Smith was paralyzed from the waist down while Tim Green – who was shot in the neck – and Jones, who was shot in the chest, were also injured.
"I found out on Sunday and I immediately got ahold of D.D.," Petrino said. "He had already talked with his mom and we talked about it in our team meeting on Monday as a team. It is a terrible tragedy and it hits us right at home when one of our player's brothers.
"We talked a lot with his brother in the recruiting process and I am not so sure that his brother didn't have some influence on him coming here to Arkansas," Petrino added. "It's a terrible tragedy and we have been praying for him and he has handle it pretty well. All indications from D.D.'s mom are that the brother is going to be OK."