Wilson took some praise and some heat from national media over the weekend for saying some of his teammates gave up at times in a 52-0 home loss to top-ranked Alabama.
Wilson – who did not get to play because of a concussion suffered the week before – wanted to make it clear just who he was speaking to when he made an appearance in the media room after Saturday night's loss.
"I was going into that (interview) room not to speak to the team, but to speak to the people because I am an Arkansas kid," Wilson said on Monday. "I know how it means to me growing up, how much it means to a lot of guys in this room, to a lot of fans to see that display out there on the field – the product we displayed.
"And it's tough," Wilson added. "And I wanted everybody to know that is not acceptable here. And going forward we're going to do the best we can and I'm going to do the best I can, to keep everybody together and display a much better product out there on the field."
"That is one thing that I will never do," Wilson said. "There were certain situations in that game where I saw some things and I just think as a whole it needs to get better. I think I would have done the same thing if I was out there playing.
"There were times in the Monroe game that I did things wrong, you know? Wilson added. "So it doesn't go back to anybody in particular but as a team. It's us as a whole. We have got to get better. We have got to do things right."
Razorback defensive end Chris Smith said Wilson has the pulpit to preach to his team.
"It was tough love," Smith said. "He is the captain and he saw it better than we did. I don't feel like guys gave up. I just feel like it was mistakes. That was the biggest thing."
Smith also said that Wilson's Sunday night words resonated with the team.
"It meant a lot to us after we got done running last night," Smith said. "He was just telling us he was going to do everything in his power to get back this week. He is a team leader.
"I can see it in his eyes how he wanted to really play with the atmosphere and everything like that for Alabama, but he had no control over it," Smith added. "That was a good speech he gave last night and I just feel like we will be ready to go this week."
Arkansas head coach John L. Smith, under fire from the fans because of a 34-31 loss to Louisiana-Monroe and the thorough butt-kicking administered by Alabama, said he was pleased with what Wilson did.
"It was good to see him get up and talk," Smith said. "He's the spokesman of the football team. And I think he's saying nothing more than, we all have to be accountable, we all have to go to the field, and we all have to get our jobs done. And that's something we talked about as a football team last night. We all have to be accountable. Let's go get it done, and let's make plays."
Asked how the team responded to Wilson's Sunday night speech, the elder Smith said they hit the field quickly, but it is something that he has tried to preach as well.
"I didn't give them much of a chance to respond," Smith said. " We went out to the field and ran ... But again, they're going to make sure they're accountable. That's something that's been preached in this program since day one ... Again, we're not doing anything other than, we all just have to go get better. Nobody played in that game that didn't have a mistake. Nobody coached in that game that didn't have a mistake. Let's all go to the field and let's work at getting better."
Arkansas (1-2) will try and do that this week as it prepares to play visiting Rutgers (3-0) Saturday night at 6 p.m. inside Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Wilson says he is optimistic that he will be ready for the game in part because of a test he took on Monday.
"The results were much better than the previous time," Wilson said. "Much, much better. Almost real similiar to baseline. That to me is very, very positive in my probability this week. I'm going to do everything I can do to get back to playing quarterback for this team this week."
He was asked about his level of confidence in getting to play.
"I'm extremely optimistic," Wilson said. "Extremely optimistic. I've just got to get those guys to say yes."
Those guys are the doctors who did not clear him to play because of lingering symptoms from being concussed.
Wilson confirmed he did visit the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Concussion Program on Thursday after doing some things in practice on Wednesday.
UPMC has pioneered a baseline concussion test called "ImPACT" – which is described as "a computer-based test that evaluates and documents multiple aspects of an athlete's neurocognitive state."
"Symptoms-wise, it was more than just a headache," Wilson said. "You take tests. The tests don't lie. You do a number of things. I didn't feel like my 100 percent self. It's not going to the doctor. It's doing certain drills, exercises, to get my mind rehabbed a little bit I guess you would say. And they put me through a pretty good amount of stuff here and it's made me better."
Wilson said he wanted to go through warm-ups on Saturday as part of his process getting back to the field even knowing he was not going to play.
"I think it was something that was another step towards my process," Wilson said. " I went out on Wednesday last week and I felt good. I felt really good. I threw the ball around well. That wasn't the issue. It was the issue of ‘Can he take a hit still and be OK?'
"I thought that was another step to go out and exercise and doing the things I need to do mentally out there on the field," Wilson added, "Seeing the defense do those things and adjusting. I think it was good for me to go out there pregame. You only get to go out there 12 times a year to go out there pregame and kind of get into the routine, so it was good for me. I was all for that.
"It was good for me to be in a position where I could pat my teammates on the butt when I need to and be a cheerleader," Wilson continued. " All those things were good."
In his heart, he knew what he wanted to do.
"I wanted to say 'give me my helmet, I don't care what anyone says, I'm playing,'" Wilson said.
He knows he is going to get hit again – after all it is football.
"It's the way it is," Wilson said. "It's the way it's going to be from now on. I know that. I don't think you change the game since you were a little kid. It's the way you play the game. Unfortunately, the second game of both years I've had kind of a similar occurrence. We went on from that game last year.
"A lot of people were questioning me, whether I could stay healthy the whole year and we go on and have a great year," Wilson added. "So, there's a number of things that are like eerily similar to this point last year. We just happened to play Troy the week I was out last year, as opposed to Alabama."
Wilson noted that his team had to realize how important each play and drill in practice is to how you perform in games.
"One thing we talked about is attitude and I think we've rubbed that raw, but it's true until we do it," Wilson said. "What I talked about was there were times it seemed that we'd call a play at the line of scrimmage at practice and run it and run it like we're in sleep because we've done it so long and you never know when it's going to be the play that determines the game.
"You never know if you don't convert on third down you don't turn it up the sideline and get the first down that the next ball snapped over the head and a number of things," Wilson added. "It's a chain reaction in this game so you have to approach practice like every play is on the line.
"That was a big part of what I said last night and that's the way we have to approach practice is that every play in practice means a significant amount and if we can do that we'll be right back where we were," Wilson continued. " It's the attention to detail and it's the attention in practice in preparation that we got to get back to."
Coach Smith said that he and his staff were trying to simplify the game plan, but still do enough to win games.
"We have to correct the mistakes we're making," Smith said. "Again, I think as coaches we have to sit down and make sure that we're as very, very simple as we can be. But yet you have to have enough ammo to get some things done. So that's kind of a fine balance that you have to prepare for, and that's what's we're going to get done. Just making sure that our guys can do it."
Coach Smith was asked if the whole season was riding on whether Wilson played in the games.
"I don't know if that is the case," Smith said. " We can't allow it to be the case. We'd rather have him with us than not with us. But, again, we have to approach it the way we approach it. We're going to go, we're going to work, we're going to get better from where we were.
"A good football team came in here and we did do some good things," Smith added. "We made a lot of mistakes, though, too. You can't put the ball down that much. But from a defensive standpoint, you want to say, ‘ok guys now look. They had four scores in the first half. Three of them we gave them short field. They worked for one.'
"We can't afford to make the mistakes that we're making," Smith continued. "We're just not a good enough football team to do that. We all have to realize that and make sure we don't make those mistakes."