As a senior, Mathews led the conference in completions (228), attempts (360), passing yards (2,953), total offense yards (2,935), passing yards per game (328.1 ypg) and total offense per game (326.1 ypg.) and was second in passing touchdowns (22) while running for four more en route to second-team All-Ivy honors. He ranked in the top 30 in FCS in passing yards per game (fourth), total offense (fifth), completions per game (sixth), points responsible for per game (ninth), passing yards (15th), passing touchdowns (22nd), passing efficiency (22nd), yards per completion (26th) and completion percentage (29th). Mathews accounted for at least three touchdowns in six of his nine games this past season. The three-year team captain was named one of 16 finalists for the National Football Foundation's William V. Campbell Trophy that recognizes the top football scholar-athlete in the nation. The three-time All-Ivy selection was a Capital One Academic All-District first-team selection and a two-time finalist for the Bushnell Cup for the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, winning in 2011.
Despite playing through numerous injuries that limited him in 2012, Mathews was one of 20 players on the Walter Payton Award Watch List and a preseason first-team FCS All-American by Beyond Sports College Network. He was a two-time conference Offensive Player of the Week in 2012 and led the Ivy League in passing attempts (405), completions (251) and yards (3,196). He also finished second in passing touchdowns (18), completion percentage (.620) and pass efficiency (137.5) for players with at least five starts despite missing a game. Mathews finished on the All-Ivy second team and was runner-up for the Bushnell Cup. He ranked second nationally in passing yardage (355.1), third in total offense (338.4), 21st in points responsible for (13.8) and 32nd in pass efficiency (137.5). Mathews became Cornell's career passing leader with his 315-yard, three-touchdown effort against Dartmouth, surpassing Ricky Rahne's record of 7,710 yards. His 8,331 yards after three seasons is second all-time in Ivy League history. Mathews passed for at least 300 yards in seven of his nine games. He completed 35-of-51 passes for 525 yards and four touchdowns (0 interceptions) in the win over Princeton. Mathews opened the season by completing 38-of-56 passes for 489 yards and three touchdowns (0 interceptions) in a 34-27 loss at Fordham. He also ran for a score. Mathews passed for 340 yards and four touchdowns without a pick in the win over Yale en route to earning Ivy League co-Offensive Player of the Week honors and threw for 445 yards and a touchdown, along with a late two-point conversion to tie the game, in a 35-28 loss to Ivy champ Penn.
The 2011 Bushnell Cup winner as Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, he became the first sophomore to ever win the award that season after setting Cornell and Ivy League records for passing yardage in a game (548 yards at Penn) and season (3,412 yards). He also set Big Red records for touchdown passes (25), total offense (3,274 yards), completion percentage (.679) and passing efficiency (162.60). The first sophomore captain in Cornell football history, he ranked third nationally in passing yards per game and pass efficiency, fourth in total offense and 10th in points responsible for. A two-time Ivy League and national player of the week, Mathews posted two of the top three passing games in conference history and two of the top four passing totals in the FCS this season and ended the year with three 400-yard games and two 500-yard passing games, both Ivy records. Against the top three pass defenses in the Ivy League (Dartmouth, Penn and Brown), Mathews completed 70 percent of his passes and averaged 405.7 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions. His 341.2 yards per game was more than 100 yards per game higher than any other passer in the Ivy League.
A unanimous choice as the 2010 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, Mathews emerged as the starter by halftime of his first collegiate game in 2010. A week later in the home and Ivy opener against Yale, Mathews became the first Big Red freshman to earn a varsity start. He joined tailbacks Derrick Harmon (1981) and John McNiff (1989) as Cornellians earning the conference's top honor for a rookie after a record-breaking freshman campaign. He established the school record for passing yards by a first-year player against Yale (248 yards) and ended his season with a record 1,723 yards and seven touchdowns. Mathews stood second among true freshman quarterbacks in passing in the Football Championship Subdivision and threw all seven touchdowns with only four interceptions while averaging 193.4 yards per game in Ivy contests. He finished the year ranked third in the Ivy League in passing yardage and sixth in total offense. The two-time Ivy League Rookie of the Week passed for 200 yards or better three times, including tossing for 243 yards and a pair of scores vs. Princeton in the team's lone only Ivy win of the year. Mathews also found the end zone twice rushing the ball.
The Ventura County Player of the Year as a senior at Camarillo HS, Mathews was named team and league MVP in 2009. Mathews passed for 3,314 yards and 37 touchdowns with just eight interceptions in his final season on the gridiron. He also ran for five scores. The third team all-state pick was named the ESPN RISE CalHiSports.com Boys State Athlete of the Week after posting 588 yards passing on 33-of-48 attempts with six touchdowns, good enough for fourth place all-time on the state's single-game passing yardage list in a win over Oxnard Hueneme in a game for the league championship. He was a two-year team captain and all-county and academic all-county each of his final two seasons. As a junior, Mathews passed for 1,682 yards and 12 touchdowns. Mathews was also a team captain on the basketball squad, earning a pair of varsity letters.
Jeffrey Kyle Mathews is the son of Jeff and Shellie Mathews and has a sister, Katie. He is enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
01/18/2014 - PROSPECTS WHO HELPED THEMSELVES AT THE SHRINE GAME: 8. QB Jeff Mathews, Cornell (6-4, 225, 4.93, #9)...If it weren't for Garoppolo, the quarterback talk would be all about Mathews and the week he had in St. Petersburg. He showed off his arm strength, passing vision and touch to all levels of the field and with his size, he fits what the NFL wants at the position. Mathews will hold the ball too long at times and needs to be more assertive, but he's a quality developmental quarterback who projects as a day three pick. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com