Victory Bell (North Carolina–Duke)
The Victory Bell is the traveling trophy given to the winner of the annual football game between the Duke University Blue Devils and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. The game was worth two points in the yearlong Carlyle Cup between the two schools.
|First meeting||November 27, 1888|
Duke 16, North Carolina 0
|Latest meeting||October 26, 2019|
North Carolina 20, Duke 17
|Next meeting||2020 in Durham, NC|
|Meetings total||106 (72 trophy meetings)|
|All-time series||North Carolina leads, 60–39–4, with two UNC wins vacated (per North Carolina)|
North Carolina leads, 59–40–4, with two UNC wins vacated (per Duke)
|Largest victory||North Carolina, 50–0 (1959)|
|Longest win streak||North Carolina, 13 (1990–2002)|
|Current win streak||North Carolina, 1 (2019)|
|Locations in Durham and Chapel Hill.|
North Carolina and Duke first met in football in 1888, and the series has been renewed annually since 1922.
In the fall of 1948, UNC Head Cheerleader Norman Sper along with Loring Jones of Duke, likely inspired by other traveling trophies in college football, came up with the idea for the Victory Bell. Jones designed the frame and Sper obtained the an old railway bell from the Southern Railway. North Carolina won possession of the first ever Victory Bell game with a 20–0 shutout victory at Kenan Memorial Stadium in 1948.
At one time, the series was every bit as heated as the basketball rivalry between the two schools. But in the 40 years from 1970 to 2009, Duke only managed 7 wins, including a series record streak of 13 consecutive Carolina wins from 1990 through 2002. However, this rivalry has been revived in recent years as Duke has again become competitive in the rivalry, with both teams having won five games each from 2010 through 2019. Duke victories in the 2012 and 2013 games marked the first time Duke had won consecutive games in the series since winning three straight from 1987 to 1989. After consecutive North Carolina victories in 2014 and 2015, Duke matched its longest winning streak in the last 30 years with wins in 2016, 2017 and 2018. This streak for Duke was broken on October 26, 2019 as Carolina clinched a 20-17 victory when Chazz Surratt picked off Deon Jackson’s trick-play pass at the goal line with 14 seconds left.
It has been a tradition as of late for the winner to spray-paint the platform of the trophy to match their school colors--Carolina blue for North Carolina and royal blue for Duke. After losing the Victory Bell in 2003, North Carolina came back the next year and beat Duke 40–17 in Duke's Wallace Wade Stadium. After the conclusion of the game, North Carolina football players immediately spray-painted the platform Carolina blue, leaving large amounts of Carolina blue paint residue on the track of the stadium. Whenever North Carolina has been in possession of the Victory Bell, cheerleaders wheel it out while ringing the bell at the same time the live ram mascot, Rameses, is brought out onto the field. The bell is also displayed in front of the students' section.
While the two schools agree that North Carolina leads the series, they do not agree on the overall record. North Carolina claims an all-time lead of 60–38–4; Duke claims North Carolina leads 58–39–4. The dispute centers around an 1889 game where both teams stayed home because they believed they were the home team. As a result, both schools claim the game as a win by forfeit, 1-0. Most neutral recordkeepers credit the game to North Carolina.
Both schools agree that North Carolina vacated its wins in 2008 and 2009. Both schools also agree that North Carolina leads the series since the introduction of the Victory Bell with a record of 43–23–1, with two vacated North Carolina wins.
Note: Duke was known as Trinity College until 1924.
|Duke victories||North Carolina victories||Tie games|
† Both schools claim this game as a win by forfeit; most neutral recordkeepers credit the game to North Carolina.
‡ North Carolina vacated wins from the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
- "A Rambling Ram and A Traveling Trophy". UNC Library. December 7, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
- DeLassus, David. "North Carolina vs Duke (NC)". North Carolina Game by Game against Opponents. College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved November 30, 2008.
- "Surratt's goal-line interception lifts UNC past Duke 20-17". Associated Press. October 26, 2019. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
- Blank, Daniel (November 22, 2004). "Tar Heels ring bell by defeating Duke". The Daily Tar Heel. Retrieved November 30, 2008.
- 2011 North Carolina Football Media Guide], p. 173-174
- 2011 Duke Football Media Guide, p. 92