A different conclusion

The turnover bug ravaged Clemson's offense in the final four games during last year's ACC Championship run.

Against Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, N.C. State and South Carolina, Clemson committed a total of 12, seven interceptions and five fumbles. The Tigers had two more picks and two more fumbles against West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.

Dabo Swinney hopes this year's team can avoid a similar turnover plague that kick started last year's tailspin.

Through eight games in 2012, they've done just that.

Clemson is tied for 13th in the country in turnover margin. And there are just nine teams in the entire country that have committed fewer turnovers than Clemson, which has eight.

"We've done a great job of taking care of the ball," Swinney said during his Sunday evening teleconference. "We've improved as a team. Last year, down the stretch, we really became a turnover machine. That was really the number one critical factor in not having a great finish."

The final third of the regular season schedule begins on Saturday with a trip up to Duke.

David Cutcliffe's squad is 6-3 [3-2 ACC] and tied for first with North Carolina and Miami atop the ACC Costal Division standings.

"First of all, I'm happy for David Cutcliffe. He, to me, is one of the real class gentlemen of this game. He's about the right things, has always been about the right things," Swinney said. "I just could not be happier for him, to see the success that they've had this year.

"To be able to earn a bowl berth, especially this early in the season, is a tremendous accomplishment and something that they haven't done there in a long, long time."

Duke is coming off a 48-7 loss at Florida State.

"We're going to have to play well going up there to their place at 7 o'clock. I'm sure it will be a great atmosphere and environment and will be excited to play," Swinney said. "We just have to continue to do the things that we do and to do them well."

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