Great coaching got Stanford to the Rose Bowl, and helped all but one of its players avoid potential embarrassment -- but we gotta say ... at least that one renegade player was freakin' hysterical.
Here's how the play went down ... Stanford footballers -- in town to play Wisconsin -- went to the Improv Friday night in Hollywood... and were met by a TMZ camera guy.
Normally we keep the questions simple for athletes, but since these were Stanford-educated men ... we stepped it up -- asking about the fiscal cliff, the crisis in Syria, and Obamacare.
Well, the Cardinal coaches must've seen our 2008 pre-Rose Bowl encounter with USC -- because every player dummied up ... with the exception of the very last guy, who tackled the fiscal cliff question head-on.
We don't know his football stats, but he'd kill at the Improv..