BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Season-opening games are seldom masterpieces, and Ohio State looked nothing like the No. 2 team in the country for much of Thursday’s 49-21 victory over Indiana.

Its passing game, expected to be revitalized with new coaching infusions, slumbered through the first 2 1/2 quarters. Groans of "here we go again" murmured from the many Buckeyes fans at Memorial Stadium.

Ohio State’s new-look secondary looked overmatched for most of the game against quarterback Richard Lagow and his receivers. When the Hoosiers took a 21-20 lead with just under 5 minutes left in the third quarter, an upset seemed quite possible.

But then, the Buckeyes found another gear that Indiana couldn’t match and dominated the final 20 minutes. Ohio State’s passing game started clicking, its defensive line took over, and freshman running back J.K. Dobbins finished off his impressive 181-yard debut.

Afterward, coach Urban Meyer mixed praise with blunt criticism.

“Our defense was exposed big-time in the first half,” he said. “Our pass defense was awful. It was not complicated. They were just picking on the corners. The corners have got to step up.”

Ohio State’s defense is based on having its cornerbacks play press, man-to-man coverage. Meyer said that coaches felt it necessary to call more conventional coverages in the second half.

“We’re certainly not going to give up on some guys, but for Kendall Sheffield, it was his first extended playing time,” Meyer said. “Damon Arnette, at that position, first extended playing time. Denzel Ward should have probably played better than he (did).”

But middle linebacker Chris Worley said he wasn’t overly concerned. He had confidence the pass rush would wear down the Hoosiers’ young offensive line.

“We knew they couldn’t block our defensive line,” he said. “Every time (Lagow) held it, he got hit. It was a lot of great coverage. It was just better catches. We knew if they were going to live by that, they were going to die by that.”

In the first 40 minutes, Lagow threw for 355 yards. In the final 20, the Buckeyes limited him to 55.

The offense, with new coordinator Kevin Wilson, spent much of the offseason trying to improve a deep passing game that rarely clicked in 2016. Instead, it rolled snake eyes Thursday. Parris Campbell dropped a perfectly thrown pass from J.T. Barrett in the third quarter in the end zone. Barrett earlier overthrew open tight end Marcus Baugh.

The Buckeyes went through a stretch in the first half in which it got one first down in four possessions. But after Indiana took that 21-20 lead, Ohio State’s offense found its stride.

Campbell redeemed himself with a 74-yard touchdown on a crossing pattern, aided by a nice block by Terry McLaurin, to give Ohio State the lead for good. Johnnie Dixon and Binjimen Victor, counted on to be major contributors, added touchdowns as the Buckeyes pulled away.

Dobbins’ running was a bright spot throughout. He found out he would start earlier in the week because of Mike Weber’s hamstring issues. Dobbins said he wasn’t surprised by his production.

“I knew it was possible with my offensive linemen and my leader right here,” he said, pointing to Barrett. “He helps me out a lot.”

But Dobbins did more than follow his blocks. He showed impressive lateral quickness and vision as well as the strength to shed tacklers.

Meyer wouldn’t say that Dobbins was now the No. 1 running back. He heaped praise on Weber as well.

“When he gets back, we’ll have a nice 1-2 punch,” Meyer said. “And Antonio (Williams, who scored two short touchdowns) did a nice job. We have some good backs.”

Now a bigger test awaits. Oklahoma, with Heisman candidate quarterback Baker Mayfield, comes to Columbus next week.

“We see what’s coming in nine days against Oklahoma,” Meyer said. “We just have to get some things fixed, but game 1 and 2, you identify the problems, fix them and get going.”