PISCATAWAWAY, N.J. — Janarion Grant did what he did best, but it still wasn't enough for Rutgers.
Grant had a punt return and kickoff return for a touchdown, but it was overshadowed by Washington State's Luke Falk, who led a 10-play, 90-yard touchdown drive by an eight-yard River Cracraft touchdown catch with 13-seconds left that lifted the Cougars past Rutgers, 37-34 Saturday.
Falk, a former Logan star, was 47 of 66 passing for 468 yards and four touchdowns.
While Grant tried to be the hero for Rutgers, he couldn't return the final kickoff. The ball was kicked to Leonte Carroo and Rutgers tried to do its Stanford vs. California impression, before the ball was thrown forward after several laterals.
Grant had the best game of his collegiate career. With Rutgers trailing 30-27 with 1:45 left, Grant returned a punt 55-yards for a touchdown to give Rutgers the 34-30 lead, the second of his special teams touchdowns.
"There's quite a lot of thought on that now," Washington State coach Mike Leach said when asked why he punted to Grant. "I don't know the exact call. I'm thinking we tried to but just didn't hit it."
The playmaker returned a kickoff 100 yards to give Rutgers its first lead of the game, 27-23 and finished with a school record 337 total yards.
"I can't even explain how I do it," Grant said of the returns. "It happens too quick. I just react to it ... after I make that one player miss, it's out off the gates from there."
Washington State answered Grant's 100-yard return with an eight play, 82-yard drive in 2:59. Falk hit Gabe Marks for a 23-yard touchdown catch.
On its next two drives Rutgers negated two touchdowns with penalties. Josh Hicks fumbled after catching a screen pass and Isaac Dotson recovered for the Cougars. That came one play after a 21-yard touchdown was negated on a holding penalty on Chris Muller.
"It's a series of unfortunate events," Muller said. "We just got to get better."
The Scarlet Knights' defense stopped Washington State on fourth down with 6:10 left, but Justin Goodwin's offensive pass interference penalty negated a 29-yard touchdown catch by Grant.
Trailing 13-6 and after leading a 52-yard drive to start the second half, Chris Laviano, making his first career start, fumbled near the sideline and Washington State's Destiny Vaeao recovered on the 40-yard line.
Laviano finished with 204 yards, going 23-of-29 with one touchdown and an interception.
"I thought there was some shaky points in the first half for sure," Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said. "I thought he got better as the game went on. I'm pleased with the way he played in the second half."
Falk engineered a 64-yard, seven-play touchdown drive with a 7-play drive that put the Cougars up 20-6 after Keith Harrington caught a 5-yard swing pass.
Rutgers answered with a 73-yard touchdown drive that included a fourth-and-five conversion on a 20-yard pitch and catch from Laviano to Grant. Robert Martin capped the drive with a 15-yard touchdown run before Washington State blocked the extra point, leaving Rutgers down 20-12.
Rutgers stopped Washington State on fourth-and-three with 2:27 left in the third quarter, then embarked on a 68-yard, 7-play drive capped by a 1-yard toss to Matt Flanagan. Carroo caught the two-point conversion to knot it at 20.
Falk completed his first 13 passes of the game against Rutgers' depleted secondary. Four defensive backs were dismissed from the team 10 minutes before the season opener last week.
Washington State's Erik Powell hit field goals from 46- and 47-yards in the second quarter as Falk went 24-of-29 for 201-yards in the first half.