NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Kevin Galbreath ran for 130 yards and a 35-yard touchdown, and North Texas intercepted Cincinnati's Gino Guidugli five times en route to a 24-19 victory Tuesday night in the New Orleans Bowl.
The victory was North Texas' first against a Division I-A team outside the Sun Belt Conference and gave the 2-year-old league its first bowl triumph. North Texas lost to Colorado State last season in the inaugural New Orleans Bowl.
Andrew Smith completed 9-of-22 passes for 126 yards, but North Texas (8-5) gained 192 yards on the ground in controlling the game. Jeremy Pearl returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown. And the North Texas defense forced Cincinnati (7-7) to settle for field goals twice after crossing the Mean Green 20.
Guidugli, who came in averaging 255 yards passing, completed 19-of-34 for 224 yards and a touchdown. He had been intercepted 16 times in 13 games before throwing the five against North Texas.
Jon Olinger caught four passes for 107 yards. His 27-yard catch over the middle set up Cincinnati's first touchdown, his 55-yard grab set up a field goal in the third quarter.
North Texas led 24-7 after marching 60 yards on the opening drive of the second half. Ja'Mel Branch set up the drive with a 36-yard kickoff return, and Galbreath finished it off with his touchdown run.
After Guidugli's fifth interception, North Texas moved into Cincinnati territory and appeared primed to open the game up. But Zach Norton intercepted a sideline pass and ran it back for what would have been a touchdown had not Willis Edwards been called for an illegal block 20 yards behind the play.
North Texas held Cincinnati to a 29-yard field goal by Jonathan Ruffin, and Cincinnati's next drive also stalled inside the 20, forcing the Bearcats to settle for a 33-yard field goal that left the score 24-13 with 5:02 remaining in the third quarter.
The North Texas defense stopped Cincinnati on its next two drives, but the Bearcats scored when Franklin Callicott stripped Patrick Cobbs of the ball at the North Texas 43 and ran it back for a score with 5:15 left in the game.
Guidugli was intercepted four times in the first half, and North Texas converted three of them into 17 points.
The second and third interceptions, both in North Texas territory, began sustained Mean Green drives that ended in a 30-yard field goal by Nick Bazaldua and a 27-yard scoring run off tackle by Patrick Cobbs. The Cobbs touchdown gave North Texas a 10-7 lead with 10:53 left in the second quarter.
Guidugli's fourth interception came as he was pressured while throwing from the end zone. It went straight to Pearl, who easily ran it back to give North Texas a 17-7 lead at halftime.
Cincinnati's only offensive touchdown came on a 6-yard pass from Guidugli to Tye Keith, giving the Bearcats a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
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