Legendary Penn State running back Ki-Jana Carter has earned another career accolade as he was selected for induction into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Carter will join the Hall’s Class of 2014 along with coaches Knute Rockne and Dick Vermeil.
Carter’s Rose Bowl fame comes from the 1994-1995 season in which an undefeated Penn State squad defeated Oregon 38-20 in the big game. Carter opened up the scoring in the first quarter with the biggest highlight of the game, running 83 yards to the end zone on Penn State’s first offensive play.
Announcer Keith Jackson is somewhat famously quoted as saying, “They had him, they thought, and then he was gone.”
Oregon tied the game less than a minute later, but Carter scored two third quarter touchdowns to put Penn State ahead 28-14 and the Nittany Lions never looked back. Carter finished the game with 156 yards on 21 carries (7.4 yards per carry), three scores, and Rose Bowl MVP honors to cap off a season in which he was an All-American and the Heisman Trophy runner-up.
The induction ceremony will take place on December 30 at the Pasadena Convention Center, two days ahead of the 101st Rose Bowl.
“It’s a true honor from the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl committee to be selected for induction into the Hall of Fame,” said Carter. “Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, the Big Ten and the Rose Bowl was everything and I always dreamed about playing in the Rose Bowl. To play in the Rose Bowl and be the MVP of the game, it was awesome, but now it’s the ultimate honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. It is pretty overwhelming.”
“This is an honor that I share with all of my teammates. It just shows how special that year was,” Carter added. “It was only our second year in the conference and we go undefeated and to the Rose Bowl, that’s pretty special. Without my linemen, my tight ends, my quarterback and the receivers all throwing blocks out there for me, I wouldn’t be here. It’s awesome that this is coming up now because our 1994 team is being honored at the Akron game and I will have time to reflect and share this honor with them.”
Carter will receive a permanent plaque at the Court of Champions at the Rose Bowl and will be honored along with his two Class of 2014 members during the game. The Hall of Fame now has 113 inductees over its 25-year history. Carter is the first Nittany Lion to be enshrined at the Hall.