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.”
Tim Ryan on Sam Darnold: "Sam is way more mobile than people give him credit for. Remember all those USC days, what he did down there with Pete Carroll."
Sam Darnold wasn't even in high school during Pete Carroll's last USC season. pic.twitter.com/9bq2LDrxEl
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) August 20, 2023
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.