LOS ANGELES — At first, Darnay Holmes was surprised. What was his brother doing at the Rose Bowl? Then UCLA’s freshman cornerback was sorry.

His older brother Darick Holmes Jr. traveled from Arizona, where he is a redshirt sophomore receiver for the Wildcats, to watch Darnay play against Colorado two weeks ago. For the trip, Darick got to see eight defensive plays before his brother was ejected for targeting.

“I was like, ‘Oh, my bad, bro,” Darnay remembers with a laugh. “You wasted a two-way flight.”

It turned into a classic older-brother teachable moment. Darnay, a freshman fireball, wanted to “take people’s heads off,” Darick said. Keep your eyes up, Darick advised, then that could be a clean play. Just add it to the long list of advice Darick has passed to his younger brother.

“I feel like he’s the one who got me to where I’m at now,” Darnay said.

The Holmes brothers will be in the same place Saturday night as they share the field at Arizona Stadium for the first time as Division I football players. It’s the first of three possible collegiate matchups between the brothers and the culmination of more than a dozen years of hard work together.

Darick Holmes Sr., a former NFL running back, started training his sons on the football field when Darick was seven and Darnay was five. They ran through footwork ladders and pulled small sleds attached to their tiny bodies.

Their three-man operation grew into Proway Training, Darick Sr.’s company which has churned out dozens of other college football players, including Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate. Getting to watch his sons Saturday reminds Darick Sr. of their modest beginnings together.

“It’s a dream come true,” their father said.

For the game, Darick Sr. made shirts with UCLA and Arizona helmets on the front, printed above the words “a family affair.” The script UCLA logo is on one sleeve and the Arizona block ‘A’ is on the other. On the back, it reads “Holmes” in red over Darick Jr.’s No. 24 and “Boyz” in blue over Darnay’s No. 1.

Darick Sr. said he’s more nervous about the game than his sons. He’s unsure how to confront the very thing he chased for years. He wishes there were still tie games.

The brothers are not interested in any ties.

“I want to win,” Darick Jr. said. “I want him to do the best he can do. I’m hopeful for the best for him, but I want our team to come out with a win.”

They’ve never played against each other on the football field, but always competed in everything from basketball to video games. Darick Jr. always won. Darnay ran inside to his parents crying.

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