"There are several ways," Smith said after Thursday's practice, "but the number one thing will be the ability to run. That helps protect him. Thing fall in line when you run it. The play-action passing becomes good. You run it, it puts us in decent position in a lot of areas.
"First, you avoid that third and a mile situation. It all comes down to the run the football. Other things then take care of themselves."
Smith said the Hogs finished a good week of practice, particularly on offense.
"Now it's just a mental deal, lots of meetings, lots of final preparation," Smith said. "But we had a good week of practice. I really liked the way the offense prepared. It was a good, good week."
Arkansas travels to Carolina for a 11 a.m. kickoff, the early game on a CBS doubleheader. Arkansas has won three straight against Carolina and five of the last six.
Smith said it's still unclear if the Hogs will have running back Knile Davis, the star in a blowout victory over Carolina in the last UA trip to Columbia. Davis missed last week with a hamstring injury, but was labeled as "50-50" early in the week by the head coach.
"He's been a little bit sore," Smith said. "He's done some work. But he's been sore afterwards. I'll check with the trainer and see how sore he is after today."
The Hogs won't have wide receiver Brandon Mitchell for the Carolina trip, but there was finally clarification from Smith. Apparently, there was a self-imposed, four-game suspension for Mitchell by the school. But there was no mention of anything other than a violation of team rules and no specifics on whether it involved NCAA extra benefit rules.
"He will be back," Smith said. "It will be for the LSU game. It's resolved and there is a solution. It's one of those things we checked into the problem. He's a quality young man ... and we have a resolution and a solution. That is what we've done. He'll be back for the LSU game."
Smith said freshman Nate Holmes will continue as the punt returner and might also help on kickoff returns. The head coach also indicated that offensive tackle Jason Peacock was "in the doghouse last week" but might start this week.
"(Peacock) has a tendency to be in and out of the doghouse," Smith said. "This week he'll play."
Smith said he's looking forward to the trip to see if the Hogs "can go on the road again like we did for the Auburn game. You have to be mentally very good to play on the road. We continue to get better. The physical part is over. Now it's about seeing if we can keep improving mentally all the way to kickoff. There are a lot of challenges to playing on the road."
One of them is the degree of athleticism on the Carolina team.
"They have one of the best defensive lines in the league, one of the top three or four," Smith said. "We haven't seen LSU yet and they are good, but this is a good front.
"South Carolina is very good, even without (injured running back) Marcus Lattimore. I don't see any weaknesses on that team. They are good on defense and they can really run up and down their team."