Between Bo Nix officially bouncing back from a brutal loss to Georgia, and Washington taking care of No. 11 Michigan State with ease, the Pac-12 showed out in a big way on Saturday in Week 3.

It may have been one of the conference’s best weekends in years. (Unless you were Herm Edwards, of course. He and Arizona State parted ways Sunday.)

But how much of it was fact and how much of it was fiction? Read below.

1. Impression: USC must shore up its run defense in a hurry

It’s hard to find ways to criticize a Trojans team that is off to a rousing 3-0 start, has moved up to No. 7 in the rankings, and has beaten opponents by a combined score of 152-59. USC hasn’t shown many cracks so far, particularly on offense, where the Trojans have averaged 520 yards per game and 27 first downs.

But there is one defensive stat that is downright scary and something they have to address in a hurry, and certainly before they are in the thralls of Pac-12 play.

Through 3 games, the once-dominant USC run defense has allowed 177 yards per game, with only first opponent Rice held to below 150 rushing yards.

We started seeing issues early against the Owls, when they were able to move the ball with ease in the first half of the season-opener. Against Stanford, it was markedly worse, as the Cardinal rushed for 221 yards, with both standard fare and trick plays turning into big opportunities. Five Cardinal ball-carriers had runs of 15 yards against the Trojans, with EJ Smith and Casey Filkins combining for 165 yards on 35 carries.

Against Fresno State on Saturday, USC was only slightly better, allowing runs of 40, 32 and 27 yards against only an average run game. Jordan Mims became the first opposing ball-carrier to top 100 yards against the Trojans, finishing with 114 yards on 15 carries.

These are not acceptable numbers for a USC team that has huge aspirations, and now with Pac-12 play starting, every yard truly matters.

If the Trojans don’t get things right, their visions of the College Football Playoffs will evaporate in front of their eyes.

Verdict: First impression

2. Impression: Oregon State and Washington State did enough to get ranked this week

Both are off to impressive 3-0 starts and both received votes in the AP poll, 62 for the Cougars and 49 for the Beavers.

Yet both watched as their Pac-12 North foe Washington shot up to No. 18 after a thrilling win over No. 11 Michigan State.

It’s almost as if voters forgot Oregon State took out two competitive Mountain West teams in its first two games, and that Washington State upset then-No. 19 Wisconsin in Madison last weekend.

Wins for either team next week will guarantee a ranking, though — the Beavers duke it out with No. 7 USC and the Cougars square off with No. 15 Oregon.

Verdict: False impression

3. Impression: UCLA should be riding high after its first undefeated nonconference slate since 2015

The Bruins have to feel good that they are halfway toward securing their first postseason berth since 2017. The Bruins went 8-4 last year, but the Holiday Bowl was canceled, so that means UCLA has only played in 1 postseason game since a 5-year bowl streak ended in 2015.

But the cause for celebration ends there.

The Bruins limped out of a wholly underwhelming nonconference campaign with a 32-31 win over South Alabama that required a last-second, game-winning field goal.

With less-than-enthralling wins over Bowling Green and Alabama State in front of a nearly empty Rose Bowl the first two weeks, no one within the UCLA program can be overly excited.

Verdict: False impression

4. Impression: Oregon’s big win over BYU saved its season

After losing to Georgia, 49-3, to kick off the season, many people wrote off the Ducks as a work-in-progress under first-year coach Dan Lanning. Lanning was a brand new head coach with a defensive background, and Oregon’s offense was so off that it felt like the ground had shifted under the Ducks’ feet.

A 70-14 win in Week 2 against Eastern Washington did little to allay the fears that this was little more than a reset season for Oregon, which entered the season ranked No. 11 and barely eked back into the rankings at No. 25 heading into Saturday’s massive matchup with BYU, which itself had bounded into the top 12 with a big upset win over No. 9 Baylor in Week 2.

What the Ducks then did to the Cougars made it clear that Oregon was not just going to let one poor — albeit very, very poor — Week 1 showing define its season.

The Ducks did not simply defeat the Cougars; Oregon marched all over a very good BYU defense, ringing off 5 drives that went for 64 yards or more. The Ducks had touchdown drives of 79, 75, 75, 64 and 35 yards, as well as 68- and 39-yard drives that culminated in field goals.

For Bo Nix, who has historically been average against ranked teams, it was a huge statement game. Nix finished with 5 touchdowns — 2 passing and 3 rushing — while playing good, clean football.

This was Oregon’s most resounding win over a ranked team since defeating then-No. 5 Utah, 37-15, in the 2019 Pac-12 championship game.

Verdict: First impression

5. Impression: Washington is a contender in the Pac-12 North

The Huskies’ 39-28 win over Michigan State on Saturday in a packed Husky Stadium is the kind of victory that puts hair on a team’s chest.

Washington wasn’t perfect against the Spartans — even if Michael Penix Jr. nearly was — but the win was resounding, definitive. It wasn’t a comma or a semicolon, it was a period. The Huskies went up 29-8 at the half after scoring on 3 of 4 1st-half drives, and the other drive was a goal-line stand that stalled at the 1-yard line.

The Huskies tried to warn us about offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb at Pac-12 media day. They were not just effusive in their praise, they were downright giddy. Offensive lineman Jaxson Kirkland tried to convey just how the tempo had changed, but even he undersold it. And no one could’ve seen this coming from Penix, who has been phenomenal to start the season, peaking against the Spartans.

Penix went 24-of-40 for 397 yards and 4 touchdowns with no interceptions. That remarkable 9.9 yard per attempt average was bolstered by six completions of more than 20 yards, including passes of 53 yards to Ja’Lynn Polk and 47 yards to Jalen McMillan.

With the win, Washington moves to the top of a crowded Pac-12 North race along with undefeated Oregon State and Washington State and 2-1 Oregon.

Verdict: First impression

6. Impression: Utah should be worried after a slow start

The Utah offense crawled out of the gates on Saturday against a San Diego State defense that is a far cry from the 12-2 Aztecs of a year ago.

The Utes did not open the scoring until the 9-minute mark of the second quarter, when Cameron Rising found tight end Brant Kuithe for a 30-yard touchdown. Before the drive, Rising was 4-for-14 passing with 2 sacks. The rest of the first half, he was 10-for-11.

He’d finish the game 18-of-30 passing for 224 yards with 4 touchdowns and zero scores. Not a perfect game, but a good one.

Verdict: False impression