ITunes Match for the iMac - Music Files on an iPod?

I subscribe to iTunes Match and have an iPod Classic 160GB. Is it possible to use iTunes Match for my entire music library on my iMac & iPhone BUT put the actual song files on my iPod Classic? The problem is my music library is large, won't fit on my iMac Flash hard drive and iTunes Match is perfect. But I can't figure out how to get those songs onto my iPod Classic because iTunes Match is enabled on iTunes.
I would like to keep my iTunes library on the iMac using Match and have the physical songs be on the iPod Classic.
I tested this by putting 1 album on the iMac hd. Then syncing the iPod. Then deleting it from iTunes (the cloud icon came back so Match is doing it's thing and I deleted the physical song files). Sync'd again but this time I checked Manually Manage Music & Videos in the iTunes iPod Settings window before hand, thinking that would tell iTunes to not worry that the 1 Who album wasn't physically on my h/d anymore. But it didn't work. It removed the that album from the iPod Classic.
Is this possible and I don't have the correct settings in iTunes or on the iPod? Or is this a limitation of using iTunes Match?

Hey thanks, Jim... Actually I do have a back up of my entire library on an external drive. Is the process just dragging the songs and albums from the Finder (from the external drive backup) onto the iPod when I plug it in to iTunes and they copy over? Is it possible to create new or update existing Playlists with this method? But is key is to never sync the iPod with iTunes or do I need to check Manually Manage Music & Videos?
Or am I looking at this completely wrong. lol

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