CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati football team will look to take the series lead for the first time since 1915 in the 126th “Battle for the Victory Bell” on Saturday at Noon against Miami (Ohio) inside Paycor Stadium – home of the Cincinnati Bengals.
UC has won 15 straight games in the historic rivalry that dates back to 1888, making it the second-oldest FBS rivalry and among the top five most played matchups in college football history.
“I’m a big traditionalist, and I love rivalries,” head coach Luke Fickell said. “I think that’s what makes college football, and I think that’s the uniqueness of it… This is this is a big part of it, our close in proximity, whatever the other things that people think you should do, I think the uniqueness of making sure our young men understand about our program and in the history of our program, it gives us a great avenue into doing that.”
Cincinnati is coming of a resounding 63-10 home-opening victory over Kennesaw State in which quarterback Ben Bryant tossed three first-half touchdowns, while Miami (Ohio) defeated Robert Morris, 31-14, in its home opener last week.
While it is played at Paycor Stadium in downtown Cincinnati, the RedHawks will serve as hosts per the series contract, which runs through 2029. The rivalry is schedule to be played at Paycor Stadium again in 2026 with UC serving as the host.
HOW TO WATCH, LISTEN
Saturday’s game will be televised at 12 p.m. ET on ESPNU with Rene Ingoglia (analyst) and John Schriffen (play-by-play) on the call.
Fans can listen to the Bearcats Sports Network radio broadcast with Dan Hoard (play-by-play), and Jim Kelly, Jr. (analyst) on 102.7 WEBN and SiriusXM channel 380.
BEARCATS LOOK TO CHANNEL 1915
Saturday marks the 126th meeting in the “Battle for the Victory Bell” between Miami (OH) and Cincinnati. The Bearcats and RedHawks are tied 59-59-7. UC has won 15 straight games in the matchup and hasn’t lost to the RedHawks since 2005.
The “Victory Bell” is a traveling trophy that the winner gets to keep for the year.
A win by UC on Saturday will mark the first lead in the series for the Bearcats since 1915.
The “Battle for the Victory Bell” is the nation’s oldest FBS non-league rivalry and second-oldest FBS rivalry overall.
RECENTLY AGAINST REDHAWKS
Tyler Scott took a Desmond Ridder pass 81 yards for a TD on the first pass and second play of the 2021 season in the home-opening 49-14 win versus Miami (OH) last season. Josh Whyle, Lenny Taylor and Ryan Montgomery all also caught TD passes in the home opener last year, while Evan Prater had a rushing score.
The 2020 game was canceled. UC beat Miami [OH], 35-13, in 2019 as RB Mike Warren had 113 yards and three TDs.
Cincinnati shut out Miami [OH], 21-0, in the last game between the schools at Paycor Stadium in 2018. It’s one of two shutouts in the Luke Fickell era (Navy, 42-0, 2018). QB Desmond Ridder had the first start of his career and rushed for 117 yards.
VICTORY BELL FAST FACTS
The Victory Bell is the oldest NCAA FBS non-league rivalry and second-oldest FBS rivalry overall.
The first game, on Dec. 8, 1888, was the first college football game played in the state of Ohio.
North Carolina and Wake Forest played their first game on Oct. 18, 1888, but have only played each other 106 times and not every season.
The original bell hung in Miami (Ohio)’s Harrison Hall and was used to ring in Miami (Ohio) victories.
The current trophy is a replica of the original bell and is kept in possession of the winning team each year.
One side is painted red and black and shows Cincinnati’s victories, while the other side is red and white and shows Miami’s victories.
FICKELL JUST FIVE WINS AWAY FROM MOST AT UC
Fickell’s 49 wins are already the third-most in Cincinnati history and he needs just five wins to surpass Rick Minter as the winningest coach in Cincinnati football history.
A win Saturday will make Fickell the second UC coach with 50 victories, joining Sid Gillman, who went 50-13-1 from 1949 to 1954.
Most Victories UC History
53-63-1 — Rick Minter (10 seasons)
50-13-1 — Sid Gillman (six seasons)
49-16 — Luke Fickell (six seasons)
COURTESY UC ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS