It may not be a New Year's Six Bowl, but homecoming is still nice for Texas junior offensive lineman Derek Kerstetter.
The San Antonio native will finish up the 2019 season back where his football career began in a stadium he's visited many times in the past.
I've gone (to the Alamo Bowl) multiple times (growing up). It just seems like always just has a ticket and asks you to go for when you're from San Antonio.
Kerstetter's favorite Alamo Bowl memory was the 2015 game when TCU came back from 31 points down to knock off Oregon in triple overtime, but he's hoping to make his own moment this year against No. 11 Utah.
It won't be an easy task. The Utes ranked No. 3 in the country in total defense, No. 1 in rushing defense and No. 13 in passing defense.
"They (Utah) are a good d-line," Kerstetter said. "They play hard, they play to the whistle and they focus on stopping the run."
The Utes' Bradlee Anae presents a unique challenge for Kerstetter and his fellow Texas offensive linemen. The consensus All American won the Morris Trophy this year, handed out to the Pac 12's best offensive or defensive lineman.
He finished the season with 35 tackles, 12.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss.
He's very finesse," Kerstetter said of Anae. "He does a bunch of different moves and he constantly makes you be technically sound."
Texas should have the support of a partisan crowd to help overcome what may be the best defensive line it has seen so far this year and Kerstetter, in particular, will bring a heavy contingent.
"I had a lot (of poeple asking about tickets)," he said. "I was Trying to get a lot. I mean, a lot of guys that are out of state were nice and helped me out."
"...So I got a lot of people coming in. It's exciting."