QB Knight at the controls of UNH offense

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(STATS) - One of the more interesting dynamics about New Hampshire's 2016 season was senior quarterback Adam Riese serving as a team captain after failing to win the starting job in preseason camp.

Trevor Knight was the season-opening starter. The Wildcats made the potential awkward situation work because there were times Knight was ineffective and they needed Riese to deliver like a senior leader.

With UNH getting set to conclude spring practice with its annual Blue-White scrimmage on Saturday, Knight is being asked to take his production and leadership to higher levels.

"Trevor Knight has to take the next step in the program to become the leader of the offense," veteran coach Sean McDonnell said. "He's got to continue to grow. I thought from the middle of the year and towards the end of the year, he did a really good job of securing the football for us."

Knight, one of 13 returning starters, will be seeking more consistency after a sophomore season in which he accounted for 18 TDs - 14 through the air - but was intercepted 10 times..

He will again be passing to an excellent unit of wide receivers, led by Neil O'Connor and Malik Love.

"It's the good thing about playing a young quarterback," offensive coordinator Ryan Carty said. "He got a lot of game-time reps last year. He got put in a lot of situations that were good for his development and good for our team's development. Hopefully we can keep him healthy and keep him progressing the right way throughout spring and throughout fall camp. I don't see any reason we shouldn't expect a very good season from Trevor."

UNH has qualified for the FCS playoffs in 13th straight seasons - six more than the next-longest run. Last year, the Wildcats beat Lehigh in the first round - with Riese under center, not Knight - before they bowed out against eventual national champion James Madison. The 'Cats finished with an 8-5 record.

This year, they want Knight leading another playoff run.