Quarterback Sam Darnold never played for Pete Carroll at USC. 49ers color commentator Tim Ryan apparently thought otherwise. Photo Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports Dec 29, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (14) rolls out to pass against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first quarter in the 2017 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

If one were to do an image search of Pete Carroll during his USC days, that person might find photos of Carroll talking on the sidelines to the likes of Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez during games. But barring some heavy photoshopping, no such photos would exist of Carroll with Sam Darnold. They were not at USC at the same time.

That is apparently news to San Francisco 49ers color commentator, Tim Ryan.

During Saturday’s preseason game between the Denver Broncos and 49ers, Darnold scrambled for a nice gain. Ryan wanting to tout Darnold’s mobility, made a comment that was incorrect — by several years.

“Sam is way more mobile than people give him credit for. Remember all those USC days, what he did down there with Pete Carroll.”

Indeed, Darnold was 12 on Dec. 26, 2009, when Carroll coached what would be his last game at USC, the 2009 Emerald Bowl against Boston College. Given that Darnold was in middle school, not only did he never play for Carroll at USC, he was likely never on the coach’s radar during Carroll’s time with the Trojans.

In fact, Darnold’s freshman season at USC was 2015. Not only was Carroll long gone by that point but his replacement, Lane Kiffin, was as well.

And while it would be no less false, such a comment would be understandable if it came from a casual fan. Ryan, though, is not only a 49ers analyst but he went to USC. He should be familiar with the Trojans football program.

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