Tony Smith threw for 80 yards in the Mustangs win against North Dakota last week. Ryan Sidarto — Mustang Daily

In the ninth week of the season, the Mustangs are back to square one. The question surrounding the Mustangs coming into week one of the season has surfaced again.

Will it be quarterback Tony Smith or Andre Broadous starting under center when the Mustangs (5-3, 1-1 Great West) host St. Francis (Pa.) (1-6, 1-4) this weekend in Alex G. Spanos Stadium?

Broadous left with a shoulder injury after the last play against Southern Utah and didn’t start in Cal Poly’s game against North Dakota last week, allowing Smith the starting spot at quarterback again.

The start was Smith’s first in six weeks, dating back to the game against Montana on Sept. 11. He led Cal Poly to a 22-21 win over North Dakota, completing 12 of 16 passes for 80 yards and one interception.

Broadous said he has trained rigorously the past two weeks in hopes of starting in the homecoming game, which would be his first start at home with the Mustangs.

“I’ve been in the training room at least three times a day,” Broadous said. “Just trying to do whatever I can do to get myself back to 100 percent for Saturday night.”

Head coach Tim Walsh said Broadous’ physical condition is improving, but it is still undecided if he will get the start.

“Whether he plays this week remains to be seen,” Walsh said at Monday’s press conference. “He was much better (Monday) than he was on Friday (and) giving him Saturday and Sunday off was a big help. We’ll make the decision based on how he progresses throughout the week.”

Smith, who played in all 11 games last season, said he would be ready to play if he gets the start or not.

“Anytime I’m healthy and I’m ready to play, it’s my obligation to my teammates and my duty to have to go out and practice as if I’m going to play, no matter what the situation is,” Smith said.

Smith has completed 24 of 40 passes for 169 yards and one touchdown so far this season, while Broadous, who had his first collegiate start against McNeese State in September, has completed 41 of 64 passes in five games for 510 yards and four touchdowns.

Junior fullback Jake Romanelli said he is confident in the ability of either of the two quarterbacks in leading the team to a fourth straight home win.

“They’re both great players,” Romanelli said. “They both know how to run the offense, they both know how to take us through the right plays and win. They have great tangibles that help the offense run.”

With an undefeated record at home this season and averaging 10,196 fans at homecoming games since 2006, home field advantage means even more this weekend to the players with the 50th anniversary of the 1960 plane crash, Romanelli said.

“There is definitely a lot of meaning behind this game since it is the anniversary of the plane crash and even a couple of the survivors will be there, along with the fact it is the homecoming game,” Romanelli said. “The crowd will definitely be a factor.”

Cal Poly will play St. Francis in football for the first time in its history.

St. Francis started the year with losses to Liberty and Morehead State. It beat Sacred Heart 41-0 in its only win of the season before losing four straight to Robert Morris, Albany, Wagner and Monmouth. The team has averaged 14.9 points per game while giving up 29.6 points per game.

The game is Saturday at 6:05 p.m. in Alex G. Spanos Stadium.

— J.J. Jenkins contributed to this article.

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