His team will go out to the field Saturday with a great deal of respect for season-opening foe Jacksonville State and it's showtime.
"I've definitely got a talk planned for Friday night, maybe even before then, about how these guys (the Gamecocks) are going to be ready to go," Wilson said. " This is one of their big games of the year, to come to Arkansas and play us. They're going to give us they're best shot, and we're not going to take them lightly.
"This is a statement game for us," Wilson added. "It's the first time you guys are going to be able to see us live. And we're going to put on a show."
"I think it is going to be exciting," Smith said. "I was looking out there at the chairs and there have been a lot of season tickets bought. I think it is going to be exciting and everyone wants to see how we are going to respond. I'm excited. This week is going by slow to me. I think we will be ready offensively and defensively. We are ready to put on a show."
Arkansas put on a mock show last Friday night with a dress rehearsal game.
"I think it went very well,"' Smith said. "We got after it a little bit. The main thing about a mock game is the preparation of how we do things at Arkansas, teaching the freshman how we get ready for a game, as far as stretching and warm ups. I think it went really well. It was the best one we've had since I've been here."
The buzz going into that dress rehearsal was All-SEC tailback Knile Davis getting his first full contact since a season-ending injury last August.
Wilson believes the media and fans have put far too much emphasis on keeping Davis from contact up until last Friday.
"It's funny for me, yeah, he's played football for a long time, he knows how to play the game," There is a little bit of mental approach to the game that's taken away when you've been out for a little bit, in how do you approach the game, how do you go into a tackle. I don't run the ball as much as Knile, so I don't know how to vocalize it. Knile ran the ball very well, and will run it better and better each game that he's out there."
Smith saw the same old standout runner he always has the past few seasons and someone he says was focused the whole day on Friday.
"I saw the look the whole day," Smith said. "I have a couple of classes with Knile and he was just focused the whole day. He was just different. Everybody was wondering how he was going to do. Knile is still Knile from what I saw Friday night. Everyone is excited to see what kind of show he is going to put on, and I know he is going to put on a show Saturday."
Wilson noted that the first-team offense had only two incompletions – one each by back-up Brandon Allen and one by Wilson - in a mock game that had them getting about 40 snaps.
"It looked really good," Wilson said. "There's a lot of positive things I think you gain from Friday night. Execution is one of them, probably a top thing. There were two incompletions through the entire night, I had one and Brandon Allen had one. I thought we did a lot of things very well. We ran the ball pretty good, especially at the end of the scrimmage. We got some things accomplished there, threw the ball really well if you look at the stats. So, that's exciting.
"I went back and watched last year's mock game (film)," Wilson added. "I was just curious to see where we were and how we stacked up to this point last year, and I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw so I'm excited about that."
One difference this season is that Wilson will be throwing the ball to his former back-up Brandon Mitchell, who has moved to wide receiver and claimed a starting spot. "It tells you a lot about the kind of person he is," Wilson said. "Unselfish, very unselfish. He wants to do what's best for the team. He's been in that quarterback room for three years, and then says ‘Hey, I'm going to go play wide receiver.' That takes a special guy to do that, especially when his body's not in shape to run as much as those guys do. I've seen him walk into the quarterback room every day and it's like he's beat up. It's tough to be a receiver, and you realize how hard those guys work.
"Brandon's really coming along and he's made tremendous strides in just the short amount of time that he's played wide receiver," Wilson added. "I think he'll be very beneficial to our team."
Wilson noted that he is excited about working with offensive coordinator Paul Petrino, who will be calling plays this season after his brother Bobby was ousted as the head coach (and play caller) this spring.
"It's all about keeping ourselves in front of the chains, and I think we can do that very easily with the matchups we've got at wide receiver and being able to run the ball with Knile," Wilson said. "We might not have to do that. We'll definitely take shots, there's no question. I'm going to be aggressive. Our play caller is going to be aggressive. He's voiced that to me a number of times. He feels that I can check it down when it's not there. If you've got that chemistry between a quarterback and a play caller, you can take shots. We'll stretch it for sure."
Smith talked about how excited he is to play for new Arkansas head coach John L. Smith.
"He is fired up every day and that is what we need," Smith said. "He keeps us going. When your leader is like that, when your head coach is fired up, why won't you be fired up?
"Coach Smith is a very funny guy and he talks to us not only as a coach, but some teammates see him as like a dad to us," Smith added. "Me being so far away (from North Carolina), he always jokes with me that if I make a bad play, he is going to change my last name."
Smith the player thinks Smith the coach is the perfect fit for this football team.
"…He is just excited to be here, we are excited for him to be here and I just can't wait to go play for him on my first game on Saturday," Smith said.
Smith also is excited about what new defensive coaches Paul Haynes and Taver Johnson bring to that side of the ball.
"As far as things that we are doing defensively, he (Haynes) always says that it is simple, but simple is not easy," Smith said. "Coach Haynes is a great coach. He is not one of those coaches that just yells at us; he does a lot of teaching. He knows that he can't coach everybody the same. There is a lot of teaching.
"Coach Haynes and Coach (Taver) Johnson help us a lot,' Smith said. " I was excited last year, and people saw in the bowl game last year how things changed and how different we were as a defense. Even in the scrimmages in the spring and in camp, the Arkansas defense made a turnaround. We are going to keep going forward."
Arkansas enters the season as the 10th best team in the country according to the Associated Press. Wilson wants to end higher than that.
"I think it's good," Wilson said. "We finished top five last season. From a players perspective, you go, ‘Yeah, we're top 10 now,' but it doesn't matter what the preseason rankings say, doesn't matter about the watch list, the awards, everything that's happened, because at the end of the day, nobody remembers what everyone was saying in the preseason. They remember what happened at the end of the season. So you can get caught up in all that, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter. That's the way I look at it. We've got to go out and take care of business and win a lot of football games."