VMI QB Austin Coulling carted off the field after being hit on a slide

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- VMI quarterback Austin Coulling was strapped to a back brace and carted off the field following a hit when he was going into a slide.

Coulling was heading to the ground after scrambling out of the pocket early in the second quarter Saturday against Air Force when he was hit by Falcons safety Garrett Kauppila. Coulling didn't move for several minutes as the trainers checked on him. He was placed on a backboard and taken off the field.

Kauppila was initially called for targeting on the hit, but the call was rescinded after replay. The play still drew a penalty for a personal foul.

Coulling was named the Keydets' starting QB late in fall camp. Duncan Hodges took over at quarterback in a 62-0 loss.

Keydets coach Scott Wachenheim said he was optimistic Coulling would be able to fly home with the team or in the morning.

"They're still doing tests," Wachenheim said. "It was a good clean hit, I guess, and Austin hopefully will heal real fast and be ready to help us out the rest of the season."