Ian Henderson's 77th-minute winner lifted Dale up to ninth in the Sky Bet League Two table and maintained their unbeaten run at Spotland so far this season.
Rochdale boss Keith Hill admitted Torquay, who were beaten 4-1 by Fleetwood last weekend, deserved a share of the spoils, a sentiment Knill agreed with.
"I thought that was a whole lot better than last week's performance, we just didn't have that little bit of quality in front of goal when we needed it," he said.
"I thought we did enough to take something out of the game. The only difference was they had that finish when the chance came along.
"I thought it was a nailed on draw and it's disappointing to be going home empty handed.
"We were very poor at Fleetwood last weekend when we lost 4-1, but I've been delighted with the response and the application from the players since then. We didn't compete at Fleetwood last week - we did here and this was a good performance.
"The only thing lacking was that little bit of quality in the area, but we'll face Cheltenham at home next weekend and if we can compete as we did here then we'll give ourselves a chance."
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