1995 Rose Bowl
81st Rose Bowl Game
1234 Total
Penn State 771410 38
Oregon 7076 20
DateJanuary 2, 1995
StadiumRose Bowl
LocationPasadena, California
MVPKi-Jana Carter (Penn State RB)
Danny O'Neil (Oregon QB)
National anthemPenn State Blue Band
RefereeCourtney Mauzy (ACC)
Halftime showPenn State Blue Band, Oregon Marching Band
United States TV coverage
AnnouncersKeith Jackson, Bob Griese
Rose Bowl
 < 1994  1996

The 1995 Rose Bowl was a college football bowl game played on Monday January 2, 1995, because New Year's Day was on a Sunday. It was the 81st Rose Bowl Game. The Penn State Nittany Lions defeated the Oregon Ducks 38–20. Ki-Jana Carter of Penn State and Danny O'Neil of Oregon both were named the Rose Bowl Players of the Game.[1] Many observers point to this game as the one that made Ki-Jana Carter a number one selection in the 1995 NFL Draft.


Main article: 1994 NCAA Division I-A football season

Both teams were appearing in the Rose Bowl after being away for many years. The Oregon Ducks last appeared in the 1958 Rose Bowl, 37 years prior. The Penn State Nittany Lions appeared only one other time, the 1923 Rose Bowl, when the Rose Bowl stadium was used for the game for the first time.

Penn State Nittany Lions

Main article: 1994 Penn State Nittany Lions football team

Penn State was playing their second season as the 11th member in the Big Ten Conference. They went undefeated through the Big Ten season and were ranked #2 going into the contest.

Oregon Ducks

Main article: 1994 Oregon Ducks football team

Oregon opened with a win over Portland State, but then lost to non-conference opponents Utah and Hawaii. However, on October 1, 1994, the Ducks pulled off a surprise trouncing of #19 USC, a team that the Ducks had defeated only one other time since 1972. Two weeks after defeating #19 USC the Ducks upset #9 Washington in a game that sparked a period of unprecedented success in the Oregon-Washington rivalry. They would go on to win the rest of their conference games, excepting a week 6 loss to Washington State, including a 10–9 victory over Arizona. The season ended with a 17–13 win over Oregon State with the Rose Bowl on the line. Oregon finished in sole possession of first place, with Arizona and USC tied for second.

Game summary

Penn State running back Ki-Jana Carter provided the highlight of the game when he scored an 83-yard touchdown on Penn State's first offensive play, prompting announcer Keith Jackson to utter the quote "They had him, they thought and then he was gone." After Carter's touchdown, Oregon came right back to tie the game. Penn State scored again and led 14–7 at halftime. But Oregon rode the short passing game of QB Danny O'Neil and kept the ball away from the potent Penn State offense. Oregon tied the game midway through the 3rd quarter. Penn State scored to take a 21–14 and got the ball back. Then came the key play of the game. Penn State S Chuck Penzenik intercepted O'Neil with just over two minutes left in the third quarter, returning the ball to the Oregon 13-yard line. Carter then scored his third touchdown, a short 3-yard run that put the Nittany Lions ahead 28–14. Penn State went on to win in comfortable fashion, 38–20.


First quarter

Second quarter

Third quarter

Fourth quarter


Statistics Penn State Oregon
First Downs 22 27
Total offense, yards 430 501
Rushing yards (net) 228 45
Passing yards (net) 202 456
Passes, Comp-Att-Int 20–31–1 41–61–2

Game records

Team Performance vs. Opponent Year
Passing yards 456, Oregon vs. Penn State 1995


Danny O'Neil contributed to 13 Rose Bowl records including individual records for passes attempted, passes completed, and passing yardage. As of 2008, his records still stood for most offensive plays (74), most passes attempted (61), most passes completed (41) and most yards passing (456).[1]

Ki-Jana Carter was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2014.[2]


  1. ^ a b Bonk, Thomas (January 3, 1995). "Rose Bowl: Penn State 38, Oregon 20". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 9, 2010.
  2. ^ Knute Rockne, Dick Vermeil and Ki-Jana Carter to be Inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, Tournament of Roses Association, August 26, 2014