Gaines returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown, and Arkansas' defense forced six turnovers in a 30-0 win over No. 8 Mississippi on Saturday.
The win earned the Razorbacks (6-5, 2-5 Southeastern Conference), losers of 17 straight SEC games until a win over LSU last week, bowl eligibility for the first time in three seasons.
Led by Martrell Spaight's 11 tackles, Arkansas also earned back-to-back conference shutouts for the first time since joining the SEC in 1992.
Bo Wallace led the Rebels (8-3, 4-3) with 235 yards passing — he also threw two interceptions. Ole Miss outgained the Razorbacks 316-311 but was unable to overcome the turnovers in losing its third straight SEC game.
The Razorbacks, meanwhile, continued to put the disappointment and heartbreak of the post-Bobby Petrino era behind them with their second straight SEC win. They had lost 13 conference games in a row to open coach Bret Bielema's career before wins the last two weeks.
The back-to-back shutouts are the first for Arkansas since 2002, and it's the first in conference play since 1965 — when the school was a member of the Southwest Conference.
Jonathan Williams had 81 yards rushing on 20 carries for the Razorbacks, giving the junior 1,013 yards on the ground for the season. Alex Collins added 79 yards rushing and a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to put Arkansas up 17-0.
Ole Miss began the game with an outside chance of still winning the SEC West. Those hopes, however, all but collapsed in the first half as Arkansas built a 17-0 lead and Wallace missed two series with a right ankle injury.
Even when Wallace was under center, the Rebels committed three first-half turnovers and were held to 12 yards rushing on 12 attempts.
Ole Miss appeared on its way to finally scoring late in the third quarter, but Wallace lofted a pass into the end zone — where Gaines snared the ball and followed a host of Razorbacks down the sideline for a touchdown to put Arkansas up 27-0.
The play was the longest for the Razorbacks since a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown by Jerell Norton in 2007 against North Texas.
Arkansas played the second half without quarterback Brandon Allen, who injured his right hip in the second quarter. The junior finished 5-of-10 passing for 87 yards and a 25-yard touchdown pass to Keon Hatcher before his injury.
In addition to his 11 tackles, Spaight had a pass breakup, a quarterback hurry and a forced fumble for the suddenly relevant Razorbacks.
AP: Arkansas 30, Ole Miss 0
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