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“We still believe in John L., 100 percent,” Arkansas tight end Chris Gragg said. “Everybody on the team does. Nothing has changed. … People might talk about John L., but everyone in the Broyles Center that comes here and goes to work; we’re still behind John L., 100 percent.”

Safety Ross Rasner echoed Smith’s thoughts about the fact Arkansas still has its entire SEC schedule ahead of it, with plenty of opportunities for success. Rasner pointed out that Georgia lost its first two games last season before going on to play in the SEC championship game.

Those losses, however, were to nationally ranked teams in Boise State and South Carolina _ hardly like the struggles Arkansas has had so far this season against Jacksonville State, a Championship Subdivision team, and then against Louisiana-Monroe.

Rasner said he knows his coach isn’t “focused on what all the naysayers are going to have to say.” Rasner also he said he is definitely not looking back at what might have been with Petrino, who didn’t lose to a team ranked below him in his last two years with the Razorbacks.

“We’re not even focused on what our previous coach would have done,” Rasner said. “We’re here in the now in the present, so that’s what we’re focused on.”