By JOHN ZENOR
AP Sports Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Bryce Young passed for a school-record 559 yards and five touchdowns and No. 2 Alabama clinched a spot in the Southeastern Conference championship game with a 42-35 victory Saturday over No. 21 Arkansas.
The Crimson Tide (10-1, 7-1, No. 2 CFP) won its 15th consecutive game against the Razorbacks (7-4, 3-4), thanks largely to the Young-to-Jameson Williams deep connection that continues to be the ultimate offensive bailout.
Alabama set up a date with No. 1 Georgia in Atlanta on Dec. 4 after a visit to rival Auburn.
This one wasn’t settled until Arkansas’s onside kick went out of bounds with 1:02 left.
The Razorbacks had stayed alive with Raheim Sanders’ 17-yard touchdown catch from K.J. Jefferson, but took nearly five minutes to get there.
Young completed 31 of 40 passes to keep himself squarely in the Heisman Trophy conversation. Williams caught eight passes for 190 yards with touchdowns of 79, 32 and 40 yards.
Young hit him right in the arms despite double coverage for the 79-yarder and delivered another impressive play with a 12-yarder to Christian Leary, a reserve receiver turned tailback because of injuries.
Young waited in the pocket and ran toward the line before flipping it to Leary near the right sideline.
John Metchie also gained 173 yards on 10 catches with a touchdown. Alabama’s Brian Robinson ran for 122 yards on 27 carries.
The clincher was Young’s 40-yarder to Williams in the end zone on third and 10. It was reviewed to see if Williams had possession as he came down, and replay officials upheld the call to the relief of the Bryant-Denny stadium crowd.
That left Jefferson and Arkansas needing two scores in the final 5:39, but it could only deliver one.
Jefferson completed 22 of 30 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns. Much of that damage was done by Treylon Burks, whose eight catches went for 179 yards and a pair of scores.
It gave Alabama double-digit wins for the 14th consecutive season, matching Florida State’s FBS record set from 1987-2000.
Young shattered the school mark of 484 passing yards set by Scott Hunter against Auburn in 1969, surpassing it with 11 minutes to play.
Arkansas has come a long way since getting dominated in the last five meetings with Alabama by an average of 34.4 points. Jefferson delivered a big game but the defense had no answer for Young & Co. A fake field goal also went for a fourth-quarter touchdown.
Alabama continues to look more beatable than last year’s national championship team. Sure, the Tide racked up 671 yards but they also allowed 468. Alabama also lost a fumble at the goal line in the fourth and gave up a sack to move out of late field goal range.
Alabama would seem likely to hold firm at No. 2 in the AP poll and College Football Rankings. The Razorbacks are good bets to fall back out of the Top 25 after a one-week return.
Arkansas: Closes the regular season Friday against Missouri.
Alabama: At in-state rival Auburn for the Iron Bowl.
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