Petrino said it's the typical worries over bowl preparations. It's been a long time since the team played a game. How do you get your timing down?
"We have knocked most of the rust off now," Petrino said Wednesday. "We are getting better as far as the timing. Now the problem is that they are going to leave for Christmas. That is a concern."
Petrino said it's like having a second season opener.
The Hogs have one more practice on-campus Thursday, a closed practice. They will then head home for the Christmas holidays.
Petrino is known to be a workaholic. Will he take a few days off?
"I will take my laptop with me," he said. "There will be some time at night where I get it out and go over things. I want to look at Ohio State some more. I want to make sure I know their personnel very well. I'll look at their outside linebackers, linebackers, their safeties, their personnel. You want to be as familiar as you can with their personnel."
Does Petrino expect some new wrinkles at the bowl?
"You always do get something new in a bowl," he said. "You have time in bowl preparations to put in some new things. But we are a mature team. Every game has something new. You have to adjust on the sideline. We have that every week and we've been able to make the adjustments."
Does he have a nice gift for brother Paul Petrino for any help he gave in preparing for Ohio State? Paul Petrino coaches at Illinois, an Ohio State foe this season.
"We did talk early on (in bowl preparations)," said Petrino, who did not reveal if he still shops for his brother on Christmas. "Not so much lately. He was into his team's preparations of late. I did enjoy talking to him every week during the season."
Petrino was asked if any youngsters stood out in bowl practices.
"I'm real excited about our young players," he said. "Braylon Mitchell is the one to stand out the most. He is very physical. He really flies around. He's had good practices.
"I think the other two that have been noticeable are Jarrett Lake and Brandon Mitchell. Brandon has been excellent. Those three really pop out."
The Hogs worked outside in Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Wednesday. Petrino said he chose the chilly outside conditions to give special teams a better look with live kickoffs and punts to help with the timing. The Hogs had extended special teams work.
Strong safety Elton Ford, out earlier in the week, returned to workouts. He's recovering from some type of leg injury.
Petrino was asked about the play of the defense and the performance of defensive coordinator Willy Robinson.
"We keep getting better," Petrino said. "The first couple of years, we were very young. But we got better about the mid point of last year and we kept getting better last year and played pretty well in the bowl. I thought we played pretty well this year and we were very good at the end of the year and against LSU. The defense was put in some bad positions in the LSU game and made big plays.
"Willy has great football knowledge. And he can teach it. I think everybody worked hard on defense to learn his schemes and I think everyone trusted each other."