"I want our team to make improvement," Petrino said Thursday after the Hogs completed their last tough practice before heading to Little Rock.
"That's the old saying, you make the most from the first to second week."
Petrino said the Hogs have had "a good week of practice." The coach also added that the Lobos present plenty of challenges for the Hogs.
"It's a good challenge for us defensively because they have a quarterback who can throw and run," he said. "We will have to be disciplined in our rush lanes and in our coverage."
Defensively, the Lobos are a different scheme, but it's one the Hogs spent time against during training camp with an eye towards this week.
Personnel wise, Petrino said there hadn't been much change in the depth chart since it was released before last week's game.
"We played a lot of people last week and we'll still rotate players in our offensive and defensive front," he said. "We will continue to try to improve the running game and play all three running backs."
Petrino said running back Dennis Johnson, bothered by a hamstring injury, would not play against the Lobos afer missing the opener, too.
The coach drew questions about "forcing the issue" in the running game in hopes of improvement over the first week.
"I'm not real good at forcing the issue," he said. "When I was young, I never wanted to bang my head against the wall. I liked to attack the crack. What we do want to do is have balance on first down and then play the situation. If they give you the passing game, then we'll pass."
Petrino confirmed that senior defensive tackle Lavunce Askew would redshirt. Askew played as a true freshman.
"We have depth there and when you look at him, this is a good year for him to redshirt," he said.
The Hogs will visit the Arkansas Children's Hospital on Friday as part of the trip to Little Rock. It's been a regular stop.
"It's a win-win for everyone," Petrino said. "I know our players get as much out of it as the kids. It's a humbling experience. When I go, I'm so respectful of the skill of the doctors and nurses that are able to treat those kids."