North Carolina and Duke meet on the football field for the 100th consecutive year and the 108th time overall this Saturday, Oct. 2 in Chapel Hill. Carolina and Duke have met on the football field every year since 1922. The series dates back to 1888 when the Blue Devils won 16-0 at a neutral site. The first meeting in Chapel Hill was also Carolina’s first win in the series in 1889, 1-0.
Carolina has won the last two games in the series, including a 56-24 victory in Durham in 2020. UNC is 32-19-2 all-time at home against Duke, including a 22-16-2 record at Kenan. The Tar Heels won the last meeting in 2019, 20-17, and have won three of the last four overall in Chapel Hill.
The Battle for the Victory Bell began in 1948 with North Carolina first earning possession following a 20-0 win. Head cheerleaders from Duke (Loring Jones) and North Carolina (Norman Sper) decided on the idea, with Jones designing the model and Sper obtaining a bell from an old railroad train. Red Lewis, Duke’s business manager, agreed to find money in the budget to pay for the bell.
North Carolina has held on to the Victory Bell since 2019. A win this Saturday would mark a third-straight win over the Blue Devils, the longest streak for the Tar Heels since winning eight in a row from 2004-2011.
- North Carolina lost 45-22 against Georgia Tech in an ACC Coastal Division game last Saturday night in Atlanta. Sam Howell moved into third on UNC’s career passing yards list with 8,400 yards, and is now tied for fifth in ACC history with 79 passing touchdowns.
- Sophomore wide receiver Josh Downs has been Sam Howell’s favorite target each of the first four weeks of the 2021 season. Downs is second in the ACC in receptions (32), receiving yards (452) and receiving TDs (5). All three figures rank top-10 in the nation.
- Tennessee transfer Ty Chandler ranks sixth in the ACC with 92.5 rushing yards per game. Chandler rushed for a career-high 198 yards and Carolina racked up 392 yards on the ground against Virginia on Sept. 18.
- Carolina wide receivers Emery Simmons and Antoine Green rank 1-2 in yards per reception in the ACC this season. Simmons tops the list at 25.4 yards per catch, while Green checks in with 24.8 per reception. Carolina sits third in the ACC with 306.8 yards per game through the air.
- Mack Brown is 10-2 all-time against Duke. Brown has won his last 10 successive games against the Blue Devils. The streak began from 1990-97 and continued with victories in 2019 and 2020.
- Senior Mataeo Durant has accumulated 522 rushing yards on 87 attempts with eight TDs in Duke’s opening four games. The Plum Branch, S.C., native is currently tied for first in the nation in rushing touchdowns, second in total scoring (54 points), third in rushing yards and tied for third in rushing yards per game (130.5). Thanks to a 57-yard touchdown run against Kansas, Durant now holds three 50-plus yard rushing scores on the season, becoming the first Blue Devil to do so since Jay Wilkinson ran for four touchdowns in 1963.
- With 328 passing yards and four rushing touchdowns, quarterback Gunnar Holmberg accomplished a rare feat in the Blue Devils’ win over Kansas, becoming just the fifth player nationally over the past 15 seasons to throw for 300-plus yards while running for four-plus scores in a single game against a Power 5 opponent. The other four individuals to achieve the feat include Florida’s Tim Tebow (vs. South Carolina, 2007), Kansas State’s Collin Klein (vs. West Virginia, 2012), Louisville’s Lamar Jackson (vs. Syracuse, 2016) and Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald (vs. Arkansas, 2016).
- Against Kansas, Duke finished with a 300-yard passer, a 100-yard receiver and a 100-yard rusher for the second consecutive game, marking the first time a Duke trio had done so in back-to-back outings since Dave Brown, Clarkston Hines and Randy Cuthbert achieved the feat in three consecutive games in 1989. Saturday’s accomplishments against the Jayhawks, marked the 18th time in program history a trio achieved this mark.
- In three consecutive games, Duke has registered at least 20 points in a quarter en route to a victory. Over the last five years, the Blue Devils have recorded at least one quarter with 20-plus points on 14 occasions. Twelve have resulted in a win, while two ended in a loss. Both of those losses came at the hands of Pittsburgh (2018 and 2019).
- Senior wide receiver Jake Bobo has become Duke’s top target for extending drives. The North Andover, Mass., native had 32 catches in 2020, with 22 of those going for a first down. Bobo has continued that trend in Duke’s opening four games. Nineteen of his 34 receptions have earned a first down.
How to Watch
On-Air Time: 12:00 p.m.
Announcers: Mike Morgan (play-by-play), Kirk Morrison (color analyst), and Dawn Davenport (sideline)
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