"I'd rather play there, though, because I didn't want to go to Morgantown."
Matthews said while WVU will get $2.3 million to play the game, his school is receiving $350,000.
"I thought it was a good deal," said the JMU coach. "But when I watched the Orange Bowl, I thought, 'Who in the world agreed to that game?' I didn't feel very smart."
Matthews is candid about the setup.
"WVU scheduled a victory," he said. "When they scheduled Marshall and JMU, they scheduled two wins.
"We think we have a good team, though. We're not going to back down. You don't have to tell our players who we're playing."
Understand JMU is not a pushover. The Dukes entered the weekend ranked No. 6 in the FCS coaches poll. In 2010 the team defeated Virginia Tech 21-16 in Blacksburg.
Some have suggested this might be a better test for No. 9 WVU than Marshall.
"I don't know," Matthews said. "Marshall had wholesale changes on defense. I like to think we're as good as Marshall. I don't know a lot about [Marshall's] personnel, but we recruit a lot against them."
One player WVU will have to focus on is JMU quarterback Justin Thorpe, who Matthews has called one of the nation's best.
"He's a good player," said the coach. "He can run and throw. Two years ago, he broke his leg. Last year, he was suspended for a while.
"Now, how he'll look on the same field as [WVU's] Geno Smith, I don't know. I don't know how Johnny Unitas would look on the same field as Geno Smith. But [Thorpe] believes he'll do well."
Matthews pointed to WVU's Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey as the collective key.
"Those three offensive guys at WVU are the whole deal," Matthews said. "They might be the three best in college football. If Geno doesn't win the Heisman, he'll be in New York. And those other two will be carrying his suitcases."
Matthews knows. After all, he's just two mountains away.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/mitchvingle.