Petrino said there's been "a lot of talking, especially by me" starting with the SEC media days in Birmingham, Ala., in late July. He's glad the Hogs are approaching the season opener with Tennessee Tech on Saturday night.
"We came inside to give up our game field for a high school game," he said, noting that might have hurt some of the looks that the team could get in the kicking game. But he said the exposure the school could get for a high school game -- Charleston vs. Clarksville -- was worth it.
Petrino didn't reveal any starters that were clouded in the last depth chart that was released a little over one week ago. He said some are still in the air and won't be determined to game time. Apparently, one of them is the placekicker battle.
He noted that there are some positions where the competition will continue in games.
"We'll rotate some guys," he said. "That's the point of having an 'or' (on the depth chart). There is a reason."
Another spot where no starter was named Thursday was running back. The first one out on the field might be situational and come down to the play called. Dennis Johnson, Ronnie Wingo, Broderick Green and Knile Davis are considered co-starters.
"The running backs have really been impressive," Petrino said. "They've had great focus and concentration. They don't get as many reps as some positions since they are splitting time. So they have to get great mental reps when they are not in there. They've done that."
Petrino said the linebacker rotation has worked itself out of late. He said the starting group in the base defense would be Jerry Franklin at middle, Anthony Leon at weakside and Jerico Nelson at the strong/hybrid safety spot.
Tennessee Tech coach Watson Brown likes trick plays. Hence, Petrino said the Hogs have worked in a lot of reverses and onside kicks throughout training camp.
"It will come down to playing football, but you certainly have to be aware of all of those things and we've looked at all of them at certain times," he said. "We have to let them see them and understand them, though."