Hamilton is in the final 10 for the Fred Biletnikoff Award, while Banks is in the finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award. Hamilton has broken the school record for catches (73) and receiving yards (1,149) this season. Banks and Darius Slay, the other half of a superb MSU cornerback tandem, both have four interceptions this season.
Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino said both Banks and Slay both like to take chances with an aggressive style in the State secondary, but that sometimes allows for big plays.
"I've always felt that when you have good wide receivers against good defensive backs, it's all about who gets ready to play. But a great receiver is going to beat a great defensive back. The guys who get you are the great defensive tackle."
Hamilton likes to see an aggressive style. Asked if seeing press coverage is an exciting opportunity for a wideout, he said, "I hope they come at us 100 percent of the time. I know our mindset of our offensive coordinator, we are going to attack them. We are not going to run from that. Coach (Paul Petrino) mentioned to us how they play -- that they come at you, but they also give up big plays at times because of that."
However, Petrino said he knows not to count on what he's seen of film on the State secondary. He said it's never the same when it comes to tendencies when it comes to the matchup with Arkansas.
"They never play the same against us as they've played the rest of the year," he said. "They do something different so we have to be ready to see something new. Sometimes, it's been really crazy, too. The last time I've gone against them (two years ago), it was really crazy stuff in the secondary. We haven't seen that again."
Petrino said it was a good energy practice Tuesday, the Hogs' first of the week as they prepare for the 11:21 a.m. Saturday game in Starkville. He said running back Knile Davis was closer to being game ready. Davis has missed the last two weeks after sustaining a hamstring injury against Ole Miss.
"Knile is a little better," Petrino said. "Today, he looked like he could play."
Nate Holmes, who has handled punt and kickoff returns of late, did not practice after sustaining what was believed to be a concussion against South Carolina.
Petrino said the Hogs "had a couple of mistakes" in Tuesday's workout that "need to be cleaned up," but he praised the energy of the workout.
Petrino praised the work of freshman wide receivers Mekale McKay and Keon Hatcher, both of whom had improved games against South Carolina. He said there late-season play reminded him of the way Jarius Wright, a visitor to practice Tuesday, blossomed late in his freshman season.
"Jarius was there today and I remember saying that he was going to have a breakout game for several weeks and it finally happened," Petrino said of the NFL rookie with Minnesota who had two TD catches Sunday. "I think McKay was close to two touchdowns. He just needs to pick up his feet going down the sideline. When he gets in the weight room, he's going to be a beast and he'll get in the end zone."
Hamilton beat Wright's school records, but he said that wasn't in a brief conversation Tuesday.
"I just saw him for a second and we didn't talk much," Hamilton said. "I didn't say anything about the (records). Maybe we'll talk about that later. I just told him I hope he gets some more plays like that this year and I know he hopes I get some more plays, too. That's all we said. There wasn't time for much today when we saw him. I sure didn't want to get all up in his face (about the records). I just told him great job in his game."
Hamilton said it's been a fun season in some respects, not so fun in other ways because of six losses.
"It's what I expected and hoped for in some ways," he said. "But just as there have been some highs, there have been some lows, too. I felt in some ways I've have a big year because I had waited and put in so much time behind Jarius and the other guys. It was a time to showcase all that those guys had taught me and I had learned."
Hamilton is excited about the youngsters behind him. He said there is good talent in the wideout group.
"Those guys are improving as we go," he said. "They are getting better every game. I see very good talent there. They are going to have good receivers here for awhile. I really like what I see in these guys, like Mekale McKay and D'Arthur Cowan and a Keon Hatcher."
Hamilton sees plenty of double coverage, but knows the youngsters are taking the pressure off more each week.
"Those guys tell me, 'Look what you are getting,' but I don't get frustrated," he said. "You just learn to find a window here or there and Tyler Wilson is going to get it to you. It's fun to play against that and just enjoy what your teammates are doing -- guys like Alex Voelske and Travis Swanson."
Voelske and Swanson were the two closest teammates in the media room on Tuesday.
"I think that's what it's all about right now, enjoying your teammate, every chance you get to play with them," he said. "You ask me what we are playing for right now, it's to be out there with your teammate. I want to do that until there is nothing left. I'll go out there and enjoy them every chance that's left."