The Pac-12’s top teams held serve on Saturday on a day full of near-upsets.

Both No. 7 USC and No. 15 Oregon survived upset bids on the road in hostile territory, and now the league enters the middle third of the 2022 campaign with 4 legitimate top-16 teams ready to duke it out over the coming weeks.

Here’s one thing I learned from every Pac-12 team on in Week 4…

Arizona: Wildcats better shore up run defense, and fast

In Week 3 against North Dakota State, the well-worn Arizona run defense allowed 283 rushing yards on 45 carries, continuing a bad trend for the Wildcats. The week before, Arizona allowed a season-high 106 rushing yards to Mississippi State, one week after San Diego State gained 170 yards on the ground.

Sure, Arizona went 2-1 in those games, doubling their win total from a year ago, but there were real signs of concern.

The signs of concerns are full-on sirens at this point, after Cal’s Jaydn Ott set the year’s single-game rushing mark with 274 yards in a 49-31 Bears win. Cal controlled the line of scrimmage throughout the game, but Ott was also incredible in finding the creases, racking up 73- and 72-yard touchdown runs.

Arizona needs to hit the gaps harder and win more individual battles at the line of scrimmage if it is going to start being more stingy up front.

Arizona State: Sun Devils better shore up run offense, and fast

The two sides of the Territorial Cup are both struggling up front, on opposite sides of the ball.

Arizona State’s first game after the end of the Herm Edwards era was a miserable showing against No. 13 Utah, and the Sun Devils struggled to even get off the ground. Arizona State ran for 6 yards on 20 carries, including a credited negative-26 rushing yards for quarterback Emory Jones.

Running back Xazavian Valladay, who had crossed the century mark in each of ASU’s first three games, managed just 30 yards on eight carries.

Cal: Jaydn Ott-led running game sets the tone for Bears

With the conference’s top running game and perhaps its top running back, the season outlook all of a sudden looks a lot different. With 2 winnable road games ahead the next 3 weeks — visits to Washington State and Colorado sandwich a bye week — Cal can race out to a 5-1 start if they keep feeding true freshman Jaydn Ott.

Ott was downright remarkable on Saturday in a 49-31 win over the Bears, rushing for 274 yards on just 19 carries, with 3 touchdowns, including scoring sprints of 73 and 72 yards.

Head coach Justin Wilcox didn’t exactly force-feed the young freshman the ball the past 2 weeks, when Ott totaled just 20 carries despite topping 100 yards in his first game in Week 1.

You best be sure that Wilcox will let Ott eat going forward.

Colorado: Buffaloes’ offense buoyed by freshman quarterback

The Colorado offense was by no means good on Saturday morning against UCLA, gaining just 51 rushing yards and converting only 5-of-17 third downs.

But quarterback Owen McCown was passable in his first collegiate start, completing 26-of-42 passes for 258 yards, 1 score and 1 pick.

Compared to his colleagues Brendon Lewis and JT Shrout, McCown looked like a superstar. And he might just blossom into something special for the Buffaloes.

Will he end up being something special for Karl Dorrell? I doubt he lasts that long.

Oregon: Ducks’ relentless offense takes out Cougars

We thought we’d seen the No. 15 Oregon offense at its most productive in a 70-14 win over Eastern Washington in Week 2.

In the big win, the Ducks piled up 604 total yards, including 341 through the air and 263 on the ground.

On Saturday, Oregon did itself 20 yards better in a 44-41 win over Washington State. The Ducks had 446 passing yards and 184 rushing yards in the huge come-from-behind win.

Topping 500 yards is a feat. Topping 600 yards twice in 4 weeks is impressive.

More impressive: Scoring 22 points in the final 4 minutes to pull off the win.

Oregon State: Beavers have little time to rue costly mistakes against No. 7 USC

Between Chance Nolan’s 4 interceptions, numerous false start penalties, and a key holding penalty and delay of game on a crucial 4th-quarter drive, the Beavers are going to have a hard time getting over Saturday’s 17-14 loss to the Trojans.

But they can’t dwell too long, with the toughest turnaround in the league in the offing.

Next weekend, a week after taking on the top-10 Trojans, Oregon State travels to Utah for a bout with the 13th-ranked Utes. If the Beavers can manage to clean up those small miscues, they’ll stand a chance against the Utes.

Stanford: Cardinal’s offensive line remains a work in progress against sack-happy Huskies

The Stanford offensive line, which has looked so bad in recent years, was thought to have taken a step forward this year. And at times, the Cardinal have indeed appeared to have shown some improvement.

But the Washington defense put up 8 sacks on Saturday while holding Stanford to just 86 rushing yards.

For those patiently expecting the Cardinal to shore things up, the waiting game continues.

UCLA: Bruins manufacture some pressure against woeful Buffaloes

Throughout the Chip Kelly era, the UCLA defense has struggled to contain opposing passing games.

Much has been blamed on a porous defensive backfield, but the Bruins have also failed to mount mass of a pass rush. Against South Alabama last week, UCLA had just one sack in a 32-31 win. The lack of pressure was a big reason the game ended so close.

The Bruins wouldn’t make the same mistake this time around, pummeling Colorado 45-17 on the strength of 5 sacks, including 3 from Laiatu Latu. Facing a freshman quarterback, Owen McCown, making his starting debut, UCLA was relentless against the Buffaloes.

This needs to be the norm for the Bruins.

USC: Dye saves the Trojans, before he has to be saved himself

One of the pivotal plays of USC’s eventual 17-14 win over Oregon State came with under 8 minutes left, when Trojans running back Travis Dye fumbled at the USC 1-yard line, only to have teammate and left tackle Bobby Haskins dive on the ball to prevent absolute catastrophe. Not that it mattered much — Oregon State scored 2 plays later.

But it was still a pivotal moment for the Trojans, and for Dye.

The rest of the game he spent saving USC.

Dye topped 100 yards for the third straight game, this time gaining 133 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown. On a day when the rest of the USC offense was shut down, Dye shined brighter than anyone else on the field.

Utah: Balanced attack propels Utes to win over ASU

It wasn’t the most altogether impressive performance in Utah history, but the Utes moved to 3-1 and 1-0 in conference play with a complete 34-13 win over Arizona State.

While Cameron Rising was his usual self with 260 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception, 6 Utes combined to rush for 205 yards on the night, with Tavion Thomas and Jaylon Glover leading the way with a combined 24 carries for 108 yards.

With a stiff test against Oregon State next week, the Utes will have to be a bit more prolific.

Washington: Huskies’ hot start continues against Stanford

For the 4th consecutive game, Washington scored on its first drive on Saturday in a 40-22 win over the Cardinal.

But it was the Huskies’ impressive finish against Stanford that really stands out.

Washington scored on 5-of-6 second-half drives (3 field goals and 2 touchdowns), and while quarterback Michael Penix Jr. did not light up the scoreboard as he has at times this year, he put up an efficient 309 passing yards with 2 scores and no picks.

Washington State: Ground game again leaves a lot to be desired

Much was made of the new-look Cougars and the toughness that head coach Jake Dickert was carrying over from last season.

But the Washington State running game has not gotten the memo, and it has been far too inconsistent for the Cougars to rely on, and it showed on Saturday in a narrow loss to Oregon, 44-41. Washington State managed just 53 rushing yards for the second time in 3 weeks; at then-No. 19 Wisconsin in Week 2, the Cougars first ran for 53 yards in a 17-14 win.

Dickert would be wise to take a little off the shoulders of the fine Cam Ward, who had 375 yards but 2 interceptions in the loss.

If Washington State is going to contend for a top-4 finish in the Pac-12, it’ll need to find some more balance.