(WHTM) — Penn State football has only won one game inside the Rose Bowl Stadium, back in 1995. The Nittany Lions defeated Oregon 38-20 to finish the season undefeated.
It was a historic team, featuring Lebanon’s Kerry Collins, Ki-Jana Carter and Cedar Cliff’s Kyle Brady.
Cedar Cliff grad Kyle Brady, a Penn State All-American and 13 year NFL veteran, was on that team and shares his memories of playing in the 1995 Rose Bowl.
“The Big Ten was locked into the Rose Bowl,” Brady said. “There was that thrill of seeing if we could make it to that game and win it. Fortunately, by my senior year, we had all those talented pieces in place and we were able to go out and accomplish that.”
Brady played for Penn State from 1991-94 before being selected in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. The Camp Hill native played 13 seasons as a tight end in the NFL, but the Rose Bowl is a memory that always stuck with him.
“I knew we were going to be very hard team to beat [in 1994-95], Brady said.
Penn State had only played in one other Rose Bowl, back in 1923, the first inside the Rose Bowl Stadium. But after winning the Big Ten title, the Nittany Lions had confidence on their side.
“Oregon was a good team and they had a good run there [that season],” Brady said. “But I think they had their doubts. They saw on film that we were a very explosive offense. I’m sure they’re going to try to do everything they could to ensure we didn’t score 35-plus points, which was our average.”
The first play from scrimmage in the 1995 Rose Bowl, Ki-Jana Carter scored an 83-yard touchdown prompting the broadcaster, Keith Jackson, to say “they had him, they thought and then he was gone.”
“To have the first play of the game go the way that it did has to be a bit disheartening [for Oregon],” Brady said.
All these years later, the Rose Bowl was still a special memory for Brady.
“It was just a thrill,” Brady said. “I mean Pasadena was such a beautiful place. There really is a lot of pomp and circumstance, as much surrounding that game as any bowl game out there. [It rivals] any great football game in the country, including the Super Bowl.”
“So it was a great experience,” Brady continues. “It was well-deserved for that team because we worked so hard putting so much blood, sweat and tears into achieving getting there. And then to go out there and win it was a lot of fun.”
Penn State is 1-3 all-time in Rose Bowl appearances. The Nittany Lions looking to repeat the 1995 luck in its appearance on Monday, January 2, 2023 against Utah in the 109th Rose Bowl. The game kicks off at 5 p.m. in Pasadena, California.