At his regularly scheduled Monday afternoon press conference, as the Hogs turned their focus to the Mississippi State game, Smith was asked if the Bulldogs three game losing skid after a 7-0 start might benefit his own team.
"I don't know," Smith began. "You'd rather be playing a team that's lost three in a row rather than have won three in a row. I think the only thing you'd use from our standpoint is to say, 'You know what? Let's go make it four in a row.' "
If Smith has no way to gauge Mississippi State's focus this week playing a 4-6 Arkansas team he does know what the video tells him. Before running into Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU Smith says the Bulldogs improved play in 2012 had a lot to do with junior quarterback Tyler Russell who has thrown 17 touchdown passes with just four interceptions.
Another thing that jumped out at Smith was the Bulldogs physical play along the offensive and defensive lines.
"You always kind of point to an LSU and an Alabama and say, Wow, look at the physicality, the athletes," Smith raved. "Look at what those guys look like. But these guys (Mississippi State) approach that."
Hogs quarterback Tyler Wilson has undoubtedly made note of MSU's 16 sacks this season for 130 yards in losses. As always how often Wilson remains upright will have a lot to do with Arkansas offensive success, or lack of it, in the game.
With two games remaining on the Razorbacks schedule and two wins needed to become bowl eligible Wilson affirmed his belief that he and his teammates will make it to post season play.
"There's still fight left in us," Wilson stressed. "We're playing pretty good football. It's the attention to detail, it's the little things that are holding us back. We've got to take pride in knowing every little thing about our position and if we do that we've got a great possibility, we've got a great chance to win both those games."
Wilson said he is encouraged by the emergence of several newcomers on the offensive side of the ball. Juco transfer Demetrius Wilson and true freshman Keon Hatcher both caught touchdown passes against South Carolina while veterans Brandon Mitchell and Chris Gragg continued to sit out.
True freshman running back Jonathan Williams lead the team in rushing.
"Johathan Williams, he's a guy that I've seen step up," Wilson noted. "He kind of carries himself with a little bit of swagger about him. Hey, he's not scared and he's not a freshman anymore."
Williams needs to be fearless against MSU. Arkansas' running game has taken a hit in the two games following Ole Miss.
Dennis Johnson amassed 161 yards against the Rebels. He dropped to 101 yards the following week in the Tulsa game and managed a paltry 41 yards against South Carolina.
Smith said Johnson is not the issue with Arkansas' running game.
"I think Dennis has been playing--I mean he's been playing well," Smith emphasized. "He's giving us everything he can. We have to do a better job of creating some things up front but that'll come."
Maybe, but Smith appears be running of time to enjoy any kind of breakthrough by the Hogs offensive line. Facing an almost certain end to his status as the Razorbacks' interim head coach Smith seemed unconcerned about his future with the team when asked about it.
I'm the most optimistic guy you could imagine," Smith gushed. "I'm always optimistic. I'm optimistic on us going to Starkville and getting a win this weekend. The other stuff can take care of itself."