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Richard Shiro, Associated Press
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is wrapped up and tackled by South Carolina defenders Shaq Wilson, back, and Antonio Allen (26) during the third quarter an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011, in Columbia, S.C.

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson coach Dabo Swinney says his No. 21 Tigers have proved they can handle adversity. It was success they had a problem with the past month.

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Clemson (9-3) has struggled down the stretch, losing three of its past four after opening 8-0. The Tigers will try and find their earlier form for Saturday night's Atlantic Coast Conference title game against No. 5 Virginia Tech (11-1).

Swinney says his players lost focus as they climbed in the polls with their best start since 2000. Clemson had just six turnovers its opening run of success and 12 in its past four games.

Swinney spent nearly three hours with the players Monday ensuring everyone was on the same page as they prepared for their second ACC title shot in three years.