MADISON, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Wisconsin spoiled the debut of Al Groh, but the early departure of Brooks Bollinger gave the Badgers little reason to celebrate.
Freshman Anthony Davis ran for 147 yards and Jim Sorgi threw a pair of touchdown passes to Lee Evans as 23rd-ranked Wisconsin pulled away for a 26-17 victory over Virginia in the Eddie Robinson Classic.
Virginia lost in its first game under Groh, who left his job as coach of the NFL's New York Jets to take over at Virginia.
The Badgers played most of the day without star quarterback Bollinger, who suffered a contusion to his liver when he fell on the ball while being tackled near the sideline in the second quarter. Bollinger was hospitalized and is listed as day-to-day.
"I'm very pleased to come away from the game with a win," Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez said. "(We're) not near where we need to be. We made a lot of mistakes, yet we did enough good things and I thought we made some improvements."
Bollinger, who is expected to be the primary offensive weapon this season, completed five-of-13 passes for 41 yards before the injury.
Sorgi took over and threw a TD pass of 38 yards to Evans late in the third quarter to increase the lead to 19-10.
"Every time you get a chance to make a play you want to go out there and make it," Evans said. "There were a couple out there."
The Cavaliers had moved within 13-10 minutes earlier when Bryson Spinner threw a 36-yard TD pass to Billy McMullen off a flea-flicker.
Sorgi, who completed 5-of-11 passes for 150 yards, gave the Badgers some breathing room four minutes into the fourth quarter with a 78-yard TD pass to Evans.
Spinner threw a 14-yard TD pass to Tyree Foreman with six minutes left to account for the final score. Surprisingly, Groh elected to kick the extra point instead of going for two points and move within eight points. Afterwards, he was in no mood to discuss his decision.
"It's a wonderful thing about overtime, somebody always got a two-point overtime question," Groh said. "It's predictable."
The Cavaliers lost running back Antoine Womack to a sprained ankle in the second quarter. Womack had seven carries for 18 yards before the injury.
Matt Shaub started at quarterback for Virginia but was lifted in the second quarter after throwing a pair of interceptions. Spinner relieved and completed 10-of-22 passes for 154 yards.
"I wanted (our team) to play better than that," Groh said. "We didn't come here looking for any silver linings. I expected the team to play better, but I guess I'm going to expect that every week."
The game started well for Virginia when Alvin Pearman returned the opening kickoff 61 yards to the Wisconsin 28, setting up a 35-yard field goal by David Greene.
But Schaub was intercepted by defensive lineman Ben Herbert early in the second quarter, leading to a 16-yard TD run by Jerone Pettus two plays later that made it 7-3.
Schaub got into trouble later in the quarter when linebacker Nick Greisen intercepted a pass that resulted in a 22-yard field goal by Mike Allen.
Allen had a 28-yard field goal early in the third quarter to increase the lead to 13-3.
The start of the game was delayed about 40 minutes due to a severe thunderstorm. It was first feared the game might be postponed, but the weather finally cleared.
"It was strange because of the weather, but we have no control over that," Davis said. "A lot of us young guys were really anxious to go out there and get the ball."
Saturday marked the first meeting between the schools.