If Missouri is able to take the next step in moving up the SEC East standings, it’ll likely be behind a big season from QB Connor Bazelak, who has emerged as an experienced quarterback in CoMo.

Second-year coach Eli Drinkwitz described what’s changed with the quarterback during an appearance on the SEC coaches media teleconference on Wednesday.

“He’s about the same height he was when we started,” he said jokingly. “I think he’s matured in how he commands the offense, but also in his rapport with me. … I think that was reflected in him being voted captain of his team by his peers.”

Bazelak returns after grabbing the quarterback job from Shawn Robinson about 5 quarters into last season. Bazelak for the season completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,366 yards with 7 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, and that helped him earn co-Freshman of the Year honors from the league’s coaches.