|First meeting||November 27, 1888|
Duke 16, North Carolina 0
|Latest meeting||November 10, 2018|
Duke 42, North Carolina 35
|Next meeting||2019 in Chapel Hill|
|Meetings total||105 (71 trophy meetings)|
|All-time series||North Carolina leads, 59-39-4, with two UNC wins vacated (per North Carolina)|
North Carolina leads, 58-40-4, 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||Duke, 3 (2016-present)|
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.
North Carolina and Duke first met in football in 1888, and the series has been renewed annually since 1922.
Two cheerleaders, Loring Jones of Duke and Norman Sper of North Carolina, were influential in the concept of the Victory Bell. Jones designed the model and Sper obtained the Bell from an old railroad train. 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. However, this rivalry has been revived in recent years as Duke has dominated the rivalry since 2012. After a period where Duke won only one game between 1990 and 2011, the Victory Bell has resided in Durham for five of the last seven years. 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.
In 2016, the Blue Devils defeated the Tar Heels to start the streak with a win in Durham. It continued in 2017 as Duke defeated UNC, this time in Chapel Hill. In 2018, Duke captured their third consecutive win by defeating UNC, 42-35.
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 59-38-4; 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.