The Hogs seem to have gotten the message, but it wasn't clear whether or not the crumbs are coming from a cookie or a cake. Either way, it's clear the focus is on this week's foe, not the game everyone is talking about on Sept. 15.
It didn't take long for someone from the media to fire a question about next week's game, No. 1 Alabama. Petrino said the Hogs know not to look ahead past ULM's Warhawks.
"We are just worried about the crumbs right now," Petrino said after Tuesday's practice. "We want them worried about the crumbs, not the cookie. We tell our players every day, just prepare for the next play, that day. Just give us the crumbs."
Wide receiver Brandon Mitchell had the right idea when he answered a reporter's question about his expectations heading into the season opener. Mitchell, in his first college start, caught four passes, including several for big plays down the middle of the field.
"I didn't have any expectations at all as far as the results for me in the game," Mitchell said. "I was just going out one play at a time. I didn't think about what it might turn out to be for me. If you play one play at a time, it's going to work out. Coach Petrino tells us just to go after the crumbs and you may end up with a cake.
"It takes all 11 doing their job every play. It doesn't matter who gets the ball. I think we had six different players score a touchdown in the game. Every player on our offense is going to get an opportunity."
It didn't matter that Cobi Hamilton, the bell cow of the wideout group, went down to an injury on the second possession for the Hogs. Others stepped up, including junior Javontee Herndon.
Petrino said it was interesting because Herndon had changed positions in fall camp just to provide more experienced depth behind Hamilton. Herndon's camp had been lackluster until that change.
"We decided two weeks ago to move Herndon behind Cobi," Petrino said. "There is so much to that position -- so much that we depend on from that spot -- that we didn't a freshman there. That's why we made it, if Cobi went down. So it paid off."
Hamilton plays the X. Herndon had been at the Y position.
"(Herndon) had not been having a real good camp at the X, but he started to get better once he went to the Y," Petrino said. "He went from bad to good, so overall he had a good camp."
Petrino said Hamilton has been fine in practice this week after sustaining what was believed to be a minor neck injury against Jacksonville State. He practiced in a yellow jersey on Monday, but was full go on Tuesday.
"Cobi is out of that yellow now," tight end Chris Gragg said. "He looked good today."
"Cobi did look good," Petrino said.
Petrino said the practice was good overall.
"We worked real hard," he said. "We've been grinding it out on two hot days. We worked real hard to improve."
The Hogs anticipate they will face heavy blitz pressure for the second straight game. Petrino said Jacksonville State brought 70 percent blitzes. Louisiana-Monroe's tendencies from last year were to blitz 68 percent.
"If they blitz (that much), we may throw it every time," Petrino said.
In regards to the running game in the opener, Petrino said the offensive line had a good night. He said the running backs didn't always hit the right crease.
"The run game was good, but we can do better," he said. "Thre were a couple of times that if the back hit it right or stayed in bounds, it might have been a touchdown. There were some plays that could have been blocked better, but the line did a good job."
The lone sack came when center Travis Swanson missed an assignment. Swanson is usually rock solid.
"We expect Swanson and (Alvin) Bailey to be really good for us," Petrino said, noting the goal is for the other three to keep improving.
"For the first time for those three, they did good. We played good, but we want to be great."
Quarterback Tyler Wilson was impressive.
"Tyler played well," Petrino said. "He missed two throws. There was a fourth down that he was high. And he missed a play-action to Gragg. He only missed one check. It was a pretty good day."
Louisiana-Monroe's blitzes should be quicker and faster with better athletes. But those that came to the media opportunity on Tuesday seemed to welcome blitzes.
"We want people to pressure us," Petrino said.
Alvin Bailey said, "That is what opens up our passing game. We want to sit in there and pick them up for Tyler. You want to make them pay, then start pounding on them. This team has a similar style as the first week. They both try to get after your quarterback."