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Petrino walking a fine line with young Razorbacks

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Nobody hates losing more than Bobby Petrino. But as the losses mount for his young Arkansas team, he's made sure not to take it out on his players.

The Razorbacks have lost their last three games to Florida, Texas and Alabama by a combined 139-31 margin.

It's also worth noting that they've already played 16 true freshmen -- nine who have started a game at some point this season.

The last thing Petrino wants to do is beat them down and scar them emotionally.

"I think there is a fine line, and the one thing we've really tried to do is stay positive and emphasize the things we're doing well, the improvements that you see," said Petrino, whose Hogs travel to Auburn this Saturday. "You emphasize the little wins, even though you might not win the game, but emphasize the little things you've done better, and at the same time, prepare to compete to win."

The latter was where Petrino felt the Hogs improved the most last week in their 38-7 loss to Florida. It was a 17-7 game until the Gators pulled away in the fourth quarter.

"Our guys really went out there and competed to win the game," Petrino said. "We got into a situation where it was 17-7. We got a turnover and had the ball. We were right there to get it done and just fell short.

"We're trying to emphasize the good things that happen, because we are so young. These guys will grow up and will remember these hard days, and I think it will really help them and help the new guys that end up joining them."