"I think we've had a good week," Petrino said after Thursday's final workout in Fayetteville for the week. "I'm proud of the way our team has responded this week. We are focused, worked extremely hard and had as much energy in practice and as much execution in practice as we've had all year.
"The bottom line is it's time to go out Saturday and show it. We are very excited about the game and looking forward to it."
Arkansas did not have tailback Michael Smith last week at Florida because of a hamstring injury. His status is still clouded for this week's game, but he had a good workout Thursday.
"Michael was out there today and was running full speed," Petrino said. "He took probably 30 percent of the reps, which is a lot of reps for a running back. The thing will be how he responds to it, how he is tomorrow, whether it swells. Really, this is the first day he's burst and went full speed. If nothing happens as far as his response to pushing it that far, he should be ready to go. If he has a setback, he won't be ready to go."
Petrino kept a similar schedule to last week's road trip to Florida. The Hogs worked earlier Thursday. They'll have two special teams meetings Thursday night, two more Friday morning. They'll have a walk through after landing the plane.
Has there been growth with the team again this week?
"Yeah, I really like the way they responded," Petrino said. "Obviously, guys were really down on Monday. We put it behind us. We came in and worked hard on Tuesday. We didn't get everything right, but our effort and attitude was real good. I thought yesterday's practice was better. Our effort and energy was better. And, then, as I said, today was as good a Thursday practice as we've had. Hopefully, it shows up on Saturday."
How did the team stay away from talk about the officiating and playing their old coach, Houston Nutt.
"What we really have tried to do this week is make the issue us," Petrino said. "Make it about how we handle our own business, how we approach the meetings, how we approach practice, how we help the other guy next to us in practice and get the same effort you are getting. Our leadership from within the team has really helped us and we've grown up.
"Our players feel like we are a good football team and we are anxious to get back on the field Saturday."
Joe Adams has returned to some aspects of practice this week after missing two games with a stroke. He won't play against Ole Miss, but how have the stages been in his recovery?
"He came out this week, they allowed him to run around Tuesday," Petrino said, "then on Wednesday they allowed him to catch some balls. He didn't do a whole lot out there today. I think he got to catch a few balls, but we don't do a lot of individual work. He did some stuff on the sideline. He's got a trip to Little Rock next week and we'll know more after he goes down there."
Are you leery of an Ole Miss team that some have a perception that it's not as good?
"There's no perception as far as we are concerned," he said. "We are watching video and see a good football team. We are seeing a team that can run the ball, throw it down the field, a very good defense, a defense that can rush the passer off the edge, linebackers that can really run. We have as much respect for their free safety as anyone in the conference.
"Our guys know they are a good football team, know that it's SEC football team and it's going to come down to battling in the fourth quarter."
How important is the defensive line play?
"Both sides, both our offensive and defensive line have to control the line of scrimmage and make plays," Petrino said. "If we can control the line of scrimmage and give Ryan (Mallett) time and run the ball, gives us an advantage. If we can get off the ball, and control the run, then tee off and get to the quarterback, that's how you get an advantage and it always plays a big part in the game."