"This group hasn't lost any games in Little Rock," he said after practice Thursday. "They have to make sure they don't."
"I don't know if it's louder, but it's loud," Petrino said. "We've had a good crowd all year. Our crowd knows to be loud on third down when the other team has the ball. They've been very good."
Petrino said the team is "excited to go to Little Rock. I think they've prepared well. They've had a lot of energy this week, good focus."
The task at hand is simple. The Hogs must outhit a physical State squad.
"They have a great front and the difference in this game is who controls the line of scrimmage," Petrino said. "We know it's going to be physical."
Petrino was asked if his team is aware of the national title picture as they head to LIttle Rock.
"They are aware," he said. "That's what motivates you. We've had good leadership on this team."
Along those lines, he was also asked what it means to be "alive" still in those talks.
"It means you have to do a great job of focusing on the task at hand," he said. "The message I've given our players is that they need to do a great job of continuing to get better from now until the kickoff. That means keep getting better between now and the kickoff. That means eating right, getting their body right and hydrating so we are at our best when we get to the opening kickoff."
Petrino was asked about the availability of Marquel Wade. The wideout and return specialist missed a game because of SEC suspension, then also missed last week because of a violation of team rules.
"He's done everything (this week) he's supposed to do," Petrino said. "We'll continue to monitor his status between now and Saturday and hopefully he'll be back on the field."
The Hogs were boosted by the return of defensive end Tenarius Wright last week.
"He did a good job in the game except for a couple of situations," Petrino said. "He's had a better week of practice. He's looked faster and he didn't get sore this week."