Uiagalelei family affair in Eugene

DJ (left), Dave (middle) and Matayo Uiagalelei. Contributed by Dave Uiagalelei.
DJ (left), Dave (middle) and Matayo Uiagalelei. Contributed by Dave Uiagalelei.

The Uiagalelei family enters this game with excitement and good spirits as they will be rooting for the two brothers, OSU quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, and UO defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei.

No matter the outcome, the family will come up with a win. 

While this game has had quite the history over the years, there’s nothing quite like it being a family game versus two brothers for the first time and at their caliber. 

Being raised by their father, Dave Uiagalelei, he taught them about kindness and is grateful for how he raised the boys. 

“It’s always a positive outlook for me,” Dave said. 

This game has always been Ducks vs. Beavers with the highest intensity, but this one has different stakes because it involves family. It is little brother vs. big brother. 

“I just want DJ to have a good game and I want Matayo to have a good game,” Dave said. 

“The rivalry won’t bother my kids, it’s just going out and doing the task at hand…they know how important that rivalry is, but I don’t think it’ll play too much into what they need to do to be able to help their team win,” Dave said. 

The expectations for this rivalry could go on and on since there is no game scheduled for the 2024 season between these two squads, but the brothers are focused on their own game. 

“I’ve never seen where a defensive lineman could potentially sack his brother…If it does happen, I’m pretty sure they’re both probably going to be laughing,” Dave said.

This year’s rivalry series will be the first time DJ and his brother Matayo will be playing against each other. The last time they played together, they were on the same team as senior and freshman in high school. 

Uiagalelei called it, “the best football game ever,” and that it was a true show of his two sons and their skill set. 

That was almost four years ago, and there were more than 65 players with division one offers, including Bryce Young, now quarterback for the Carolina Panthers. 

“Those two are thick as thieves, they’re attached at the hip, they’re best friends…And Matayo, he listens to his brother,” Dave said. 

While some could call this game a sibling rivalry, the Uiagalelei family calls it a blessing. 

“I think it’s special…Never would I imagine that these two would play against each other, but it speaks to all the hard work that these two put in,” Dave said.

Not only will DJ and Matayo share the field on Nov. 24, but they will also be sharing their families’ hearts as they battle over who will own the state of Oregon.

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